An Iowa man has been charged with false imprisonment after allegedly holding a woman hostage and forcing her to watch the TV miniseries “Roots” “so she could better understand her racism,”
Robert Lee Noye, 52, allegedly forced the woman to sit with him at a Cedar Rapids residence on Monday, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Gazette in Iowa.
When she tried to move, Noye told her to “remain seated and watch the movie with him or he would kill her and spread her body parts across Interstate 380 on the way to Chicago,” the complaint said.
“Roots” was a nine-part TV miniseries from 1977 based on author Alex Haley’s novel that chronicled the life of Kunta Kinte, an African captured and sold into slavery during the 18th century.
Cedar Rapids police told NBC News officers “were sent to an area in the city for an open-line 911 call ‘with lots of screaming.'”
Dispatchers and officers were able to find the home by using GPS. When they arrived, an intoxicated man, later identified as Noye, answered the door, police said.
A 37-year-old woman and her 12-year-old daughter were found crying inside, police said.
The woman told police that Noye had been assaulting her all night and had made her sit with him to watch the miniseries “Roots,” based on Alex Haley’s bestselling book “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” which drew attention to the brutality of slavery. The miniseries aired on ABC in 1977 and won a host of awards, including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.