Mississippi cross burner pleads responsible to hate crime: NPR
Mississippi Division of Corrections through AP
JACKSON, Mississippi. A Mississippi man who burned a cross in his yard to intimidate his black neighbors pleaded responsible to a hate crime in federal courtroom, the Justice Division stated Friday.
In accordance with courtroom data, 24-year-old Axel Cox of Gulfport was charged with violating the Honest Housing Act in reference to the December 2020 incident.
The Justice Division stated that Cox gathered provides from his house, erected a wood cross within the entrance yard, and set it up so black neighbors might see it. He then doused it with engine oil and set it on hearth. In accordance with the paperwork, he additionally addressed the household with derogatory racist remarks.
In September, a grand jury indicted him. Cox’s legal professional, Jim Davis, filed a discover of intent to convict him of the burning of the cross on November 22, 2022. Davis didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Thursday.
The Ku Klux Klan and different white supremacist teams have lengthy practiced cross burning to intimidate blacks and Jews.
“The burning of the cross is paying homage to a protracted and painful historical past, particularly in Mississippi, of intimidation and looming bodily violence in opposition to black folks,” stated Kristen Clark, assistant legal professional basic of the Justice Division’s Civil Rights Division. “The Division of Justice will proceed to prosecute those that use racially motivated violence to expel folks from their houses or communities.”
A sentencing listening to has been scheduled for March 9. Cox faces as much as 10 years in jail, a advantageous of as much as $250,000, or each, in line with the Justice Division.
The Gulfport Police Division and the native FBI workplace in Jackson investigated the case.