A federal court and prosecutors said the firearms were obtained with anti-Black racist violence in mind by a New York man sentenced to eight years in prison for unlawful gun possession.
The guns were discovered after authorities arrested Stephen Pattison in Hilton, a tiny town outside of Rochester, for a parole violation. Pattison had a history of racially motivated assaults and was convicted of second-degree domestic violence in Missouri in 2016.
When police went to Pattison’s house in November 2020, they discovered two weapons, 25 rounds of ammunition, a tactical vest with an expandable baton and knife, and things containing white nationalist and Nazi insignia. Pattison had vowed to kill Black Lives Matter demonstrators months ago, claiming that he was preparing for a “Racial Holy War.”
In Pattison’s sentencing hearing on Monday, US District Judge David Larimer said the firearms were “part of a racial agenda.”
“When one examines the motive for holding the guns, your beliefs on white supremacy, Nazi views, racist terminology — they… factor in, too,” Larimer added.
Pattison is a proponent of “white supremacist ideology,” according to federal prosecutors, who has “often voiced” racial hatred for BLM and Antifa, as well as “sometimes violently conveyed” his displeasure with local protests in Rochester over the murders of George Floyd and Daniel Prude. According to court filings, Pattison stated that he would shoot protestors “if they came to his neighborhood.”
Pattison stated, “Go ahead n***, defund the cops so… I can just start (expletive) murderin’ ya all at a genocidal rate by (expletive) myself.” “They’ll start calling me the Death Angel.” They’ll start referring to me as the next Josef Mengele.”
Mengele was a Nazi doctor who murdered scores of people in concentration camps while conducting human experimentation.
Pattison, who posed for a photo in front of a flag for the worldwide neo-Nazi organization Blood and Honour, had a history of robbing Black and other minorities.
Pattison was found guilty of a hate crime in 2009 after breaking into a victim’s patio furniture, throwing it at their home, and calling them the N-word. Pattison was reportedly asked to leave a pub in 2018 after hurling racist epithets.
Prosecutors said he damaged a car mirror in the parking lot, brandished a hunting knife at a victim, and screamed, “I’m going to kill everyone in this home, and I’m going to kill myself before going back to prison.”
Pattison was prohibited from possessing firearms because he was a felon. He pleaded guilty to weapons charges, which carried a sentence ranging from 46 to 57 months in jail, depending on the judge’s discretion. However, due to his admission of guilt, prosecutors may raise the bar.
Because of Pattison’s prior misdeeds, they had requested Larimer to sentence him to ten years in prison.
Pattison’s defense attorney said that there was no proof that he meant to use the firearms for violence and instead purchased them to protect himself against protesters.
The court, according to the Democrat & Chronicle, stated the protests were miles distant and that sentencing standards couldn’t adequately consider the seriousness of his previous racist offenses or his chances of committing new ones because the protests were so far away.
“Violence appears to be your middle name,” Larimer added, pointing out that Pattison has the word “violence” tattooed on one of his hands.
Pattison stated that he instructed his girlfriend to tell authorities that the weapons were not his. He also sought to get others to take the fall for him, according to authorities, and requested Donald O’Shier, the guy who gave him the rifle and ammunition, to back up his narrative while inside. O’Shier was also arrested and prosecuted.
Pattison’s sentencing comes nine days after a white supremacist murdered ten African-Americans in Buffalo, roughly an hour and a half away.
“Believe them the first time they show you who they are,” Larimer added, paraphrasing Black poet Maya Angelou.
He reportedly suggested the white supremacist read Angelou’s writings in prison, saying, “I presume that’s not someone whose works you follow.”