Thursday, July 31, 2008

YourBlackNews: Another Cross Burning Incident In Muncie Indiana

My very own Muncie, Indiana is hit by another cross-burning incident. Who could have guessed?:

The discovery of a burned cross in Mary Pointer's back yard marks the second such hate crime in Muncie in about as many years.

Pointer, who is black and lives in the McKinley neighborhood near Central High School, said she does not know why she was targeted.

"I cried because I know I've never done anything to deserve this," Pointer said Tuesday. "It just really hurt."

Family members discovered the cross -- about 4 feet tall and made of scrap wood -- smoking in the backyard Friday afternoon while Pointer was at work.

Pointer lives with her daughter and four grandchildren and said the incident has left her scared for the safety of her family and suspicious of every bump and creak in the night.

Friday's cross burning is the second since March 2006, when Kyle Shroyer and Kyle Milbourn, both 22, burned an 8-foot cross in the yard of a home in which a white woman and her three biracial children lived.

Both men were convicted in federal court in Indianapolis of hate crimes.

Milbourn received a 10-year prison sentence, and Shroyer received a 15-month sentence.

Pointer filed a report with the Muncie Police Department on Friday afternoon.

The responding uniform officer phoned Sgt. Mike Engle of the detectives division for advice.

Engle said he told the officer to make a thorough report.

Because there was little evidence at the scene, Engle said someone would likely have to come forward with information before the investigation could continue.

That was how the 2006 burning was solved, Engle said.

If police received more information, the case would be forwarded to the FBI, Engle said.

Pointer's neighbor, Donna Patterson, who is white, said she also felt threatened by the cross burning.

Patterson was born and raised in the neighborhood and said she can't remember anything like the cross burning happening.

"It's a big concern," she said.

Pointer said she has witnessed racism in her job at the Muncie Housing Authority, where whites sometimes refuse to deal with her because of her skin color...

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