For years, Vernon Majors harassed and intimidated the Lebanese family that lived next door to him, calling them “dirty Muslims” and “A-rabs” and all manner of other ugly names, and even allegedly ran over one of them with a car. Last Friday, however, the neighbor dispute came to a head and ended with one neighbor dead of gunshot wounds, and Majors in jail on murder charges.
As CNN reports, Haifa and Khalid Jabara moved into their Tulsa home 12 years ago. A few years later, Stanley Vernon Majors, who goes by his middle name in court documents, moved in next door. That’s when the trouble started, according to Haifa.
“He’d call us names all the time. ‘You dirty Arabs, get out of here.'”
Majors’ hate extended beyond his Lebanese neighbors and to just about anyone of color, apparently.
“I had a guy who mowed our lawn, he’s black. He’d scream, ‘You N-word, get out of here.”
By 2013, the Jabara family had had enough, according to the Tulsa World. Khalid Jabara took out an order of protection against Majors, which forbade him from having any contact with his neighbors, ordered him to stay at least 300 yards away from them at all times, and forbade him from possessing a firearm until 2018.
It didn’t take.
By March 2015, Majors had allegedly violated the order of protection by yelling racial slurs at Haifa and threatening to kill her. When police showed up to arrest Majors, according to an arrest report, officers had to command him to put down his beer so he could be cuffed. The report says he “chugged” his beer before being cuffed.
Majors was charged with misdemeanor counts of violating an order of protection and obstructing a police officer. He made bail and was released.
In September 2015, Majors’ harassment of his neighbors escalated from mere words to outright violence. Prosecutors claim that Majors hit Haifa Jabara with a car and then fled the scene. Jabara suffered multiple broken bones and spent weeks in the hospital.
Majors was booked on felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and other charges and was denied bond. However, eight months later, for reasons that aren’t clear, a judge set bail, which Majors posted, and on May 25, he returned to his home, right next door the the family he had allegedly been terrorizing for years.
Last Friday, the years-long dispute between Majors and the Jabara family finally came to a head. On Friday night, Khalid Jabara called the Tulsa police to report that Majors had a gun. The police showed up to talk to Majors, but according to The Washington Post, determined that there was nothing they could do and left.
Minutes later, Khalid Jabara was dead, and Majors was arrested a short time later.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Khalid’s sister, Victoria Jabara Williams, says that the Tulsa police and criminal courts failed to protect their family from their bigoted and violent neighbor.
“My family lived in fear of this man and his hatred for years. Yet in May, not even one year after he ran over our mother and despite our repeated protests, he was released from jail with no conditions on his bond—no ankle monitor, no drug/alcohol testing, nothing.”
Veronica Laizure, Oklahoma Civil Rights director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tells the World that she believes anti-Muslim bias may have played a role in Khalid’s murder. Oddly enough, the Jabara family is not Muslim – they are actually Christians of Lebanese descent.
As of this writing, Majors remains jailed without bail while prosecutors are deciding whether or not to pursue hate crime charges against him. Meanwhile, Tulsa authorities are trying to figure out what went wrong with the system that allowed Majors to walk free even after he had allegedly run over a woman with his car.
It is not clear when Majors will face a judge, or if he has an attorney.
[Image via Tulsa Police Department]