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Tag: cross burning

Feds Indict Penn. Man for Cross Burning

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Old expressions of hatred live on.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division on Tuesday  announced charges against A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man for burning a cross in 2010.

Authorities said that Ryan M. Held, aka Ryan M. Foley, 20, of Philipsburg, Penn., was indicted on March 27 by a federal grand jury for burning the cross outside the residence of a white woman who associated with an African-American male.  The two-count indictment charges Held with violating the housing rights of the two victims by burning the cross for the purpose of threatening and intimidating the victims in order to interfere with their rights to occupy a dwelling free from racial discrimination.

 If convicted, Held faces a max of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Penn. State Police and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Arkansas Men Sentenced in Cross Burning Case

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A group of three southerners had the idea to construct a large wooden cross, bring it to the yard of a local African-America resident of Arkansas, and light the cross on fire before driving away; now the three have been sentenced to 18 months in prison, the FBI announced in a statement on Friday.

Bradley Branscum, 23, and Curtis Coffee, 19, of Batesville, Ark., were sentenced for charges relating to the Aug. 28, 2010 crossburning incident. Tony Branscum, 26 and first cousin to Bradley, was sentenced on Jan. 20.

The African America resident was not injured, according to the FBI, and there was no damage to his home. Still, the defendants had pleaded guilty to interfering with the housing rights of another, says the FBI.

“The defendants acted to instill fear because of the victim’s race,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said. “The Department of Justice remains committed to protecting our communities from such violence and will continue to aggressively prosecute these acts.”

Cross Burnings — Symbols of Hate — Know No Boundaries

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Cross burnings which once symbolized the pervasive racism in parts of the South decades ago, is apparently not a thing of the past, and apparently knows no boundaries.

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced that Michael Francis Bealonis,19, of Robinson, Pa. pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to burning a 6-foot cross in November 2009 in the backyard of someone in his neighborhood.

Bealonis pleaded guilty to burning the cross at the home of a family that had three minor children, one of whom was an adopted African American.

“This teen used an unmistakable symbol of bigotry and hate to threaten a family with violence simply because the race of a child,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.” These incidents have no place in our country, and they are a reminder of the civil rights challenges we still face today.”

Sentencing is set for May 25.

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Feds Indict 3 in Cross Burning Incident at African-American Home in Ark.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Hate still burns in certain corners of the country.

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced the indictment of three men on charges of burning a cross in the backyard of an African-American resident in Saldo, Ark.

James Bradley Branscum, Tony Branscum, both of Salado, Ark., and Curtis Coffee of Batesville, Ark., were indicted in connection with the Aug. 28 incident.

Man Indicted in Cross Burning Near Louisiana Home of Interracial Couple

louisiana-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For some people stuck in a certain era, public acts of hate never go out of style.

Enter Joshua  James Moro, 23, who has been indicted in connection with a 2008 cross-burning in Louisiana near the home of an interracial couple, the Justice Department said.

Moro faces a  charge of conspiring to interfere with another person’s civil rights in the incident that took place in Athens, La. He was arrested Wednesday on an indictment that was issued April 28. Authorities said his co-conspirator and cousin Daniel Earl Danforth was convicted in the incident in January.

Authorities said that at Danforth’s trial evidence surfaced that Danforth and others “built a cross out of small pine trees and transported the cross to an area adjacent to the victims’ homes, where they set it on fire in order to intimidate the interracial couple.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary J. Mudrick for the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Erin Aslan from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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