The white campground employee who pulled a gun on a black couple trying to have a picnic has been charged with a misdemeanor count of threatening exhibition of a weapon.
Ruby Howell, 70, lost her job with Kampgrounds of America after video of the confrontation at Oktibbeha County Lake, near Starkville, Mississippi, was posted on Facebook and went viral. In the video, Howell, wearing a KOA shirt, holds a gun as she talks to Jessica and Franklin Richardson, who had been attempting to have a picnic by the lake on Memorial Day.
The couple didn’t know they needed a reservation at the campground to sit by the lake, Jessica Richardson said in the video, which was included with the caption “Racism is alive and well.” In the footage, she also told Howell the gun was unnecessary – all the campground manager had to do was ask them to leave.
In the week after the confrontation, local officials said they were concerned by what they saw in the video and were investigating.
At a press conference on Saturday, the Oktibbeha sheriff and local prosecutors said they were waiting on a formal statement from the Richardsons that Howell had pointed the gun at them before taking action.
On Tuesday, Howell was booked into Oktibbeha County Jail on suspicion of making threats, according to records. The Starkville Daily News reported she turned herself in after being charged with the misdemeanor count and was released shortly after posting $500 bail.
She’s scheduled to appear in court June 25, the Associated Press reported.