(COLORADO SPRINGS) – After receiving violent threats regarding their involvement with two black ranch owners in Yoder, the El Paso County Sherriff’s Office (EPSO) provided their side of the story in a press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Ranch owners Courtney and Nicole Mallery, who have asserted claims of harassment from neighbors and deputies, were arrested earlier this month on charges of stalking, brought on by their neighbor, Teresa Clark.
The issues surrounding Courtney and Nicole Mallery and their ranch were first highlighted in a story posted by a digital news outlet called Ark Republic. The story, turned series, detailed racially motivated attacks against the Mallerys by their neighbors, as well as racial discrimination against them by the Sheriff’s Office.
The stories gained a lot of traction, getting shared on social media, going viral on Tik Tok, and news outlets even citing their stories as information.
The first thing El Paso County Sheriff, Joseph Roybal, addressed at the press conference were the articles by Ark Republic, denouncing them as misinformation. In the articles, the author states that they reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for comment regarding the allegations, but Roybal said there is no record of any calls from the author.
The Sheriff said that they are now receiving violent threats, as a result.
“The threats and accusations are examples of the damage which can be done when misinformation gets ahead of the facts,” said Roybal.
At the press conference, the Sheriff’s office cited records and police body camera footage to counter the claims and complaints against them. One of the Mallery’s central claims is that police have not properly responded to their calls.
Between 2021-2022, EPSO reported responding to over 170 calls for service in Yoder. Out of that, 47 calls for service were from Nicole Mallery, 11 calls for service were from Courtney Mallery, and 46 calls for service were from their neighbor, Teresa Clark.
“Deputies responded both in person and by phone to these calls for service. Numerous cases were taken to include restraining order violations, criminal mischief, and trespass,” said Lieutenant Chris Gonzalez, who gave an in-depth report of EPSO’s involvement at the press conference.
When the Mallerys were arrested earlier this month, attention to the situation escalated, especially on their allegations of racial discrimination from deputies.
“No one would be more eager than I, to rid my office of a deputy sheriff who is racist and treating members of the community unfairly… I’m confident our actions and responses to the calls and complaints in the Yoder community have been objective and based on facts and law, not on race,” said Sheriff Roybal.
Multiple videos of body camera footage were shown at the presser to display disparity in the Mallery’s claims. One video, taken by a process server, shows Nicole shooting at him with a gun after he trespassed on their property in order to serve legal documents.
Police body camera footage later showed Nicole telling police, she had asked for the process server’s identification and saw him looking through her windows, even though the process server’s video shows that neither of those things happened.
On a phone call after the press conference, a representative from the Rocky Mountain NAACP, who was with the Mallery’s, told FOX21 that the video that the police showed was not the full story.
They say that evidence will soon show the violent acts of racism against the Mallery’s,
including; animals on their farm being poisoned and butchered, people breaking their fences, and burning their Black Lives Matter flags.
Several investigations surrounding these claims are being conducted by EPSO.
This press conference happened just hours before Courtney Mallery attended his first court appearance.
FOX21 will continue to follow this story as it develops.