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Lexington tenants speak out after discrimination case

Saturday August 4, 2018

A victory six years in the making, on Tuesday a Dawson County district court judge ordered Gerald Rich, a landlord in Lexington, to end discrimination.

Tenants at Rich's Cottonwood apartment complex accused Rich and his employees of several acts the tenants felt were discriminatory.

They say Rich and his employees entered tenants' apartments at inappropriate times very early in the morning or very late at night, would use racial slurs when dealing with the tenants, gave unfair fines, and would maliciously tow tenants' cars from the complex's parking lots.

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"Imagine somebody who is paying you money your rent money and they never get late not even one time, and when they are paying you tell them to put it there, you don't want to even touch them, don't say hi to them. And he doesn't accept a check, he doesn't accept money order it has to be cash. And it has to be even numbers he wouldn't even accept loose cash," said Somali Community Chairman Shukri Abdi.

While it took six years for the verdict to come down, members of the Lexington Somali community are happy to finally see justice being served.

"I love America I love the flag, without it I would not get the justice I have today, today I feel like an American citizen," said Holimo Alas, a tenant at Rich's complex.

Members of the Somalian community say they are happy with the verdict, but are ultimately frustrated with how long it took for a judge to step in and stop the discrimination.

We did reach out to Rich for a comment, but he didn't immediately respond to our call.

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