Virginia Man Sentenced to 18 Months for Burning Cross on Black Family’s Front Yard

A Marion man who burned a cross on the front yard of an African American family in June 2020 following a civil rights protest earlier in the day was sentenced Friday to 18 months in federal prison, according to a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.

James Brown, 41, pleaded guilty in April to criminal interference with federally protected housing rights based upon the victim’s race.

“When Brown burned a cross in the victim’s front yard, he carried out a despicable act of intimidation, interfered with a federally protected housing right, and broke a serious federal law,” acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Bubar stated Friday. “Today’s sentence demonstrates that such threatening acts of hatred will be swiftly investigated and prosecuted. We thank the FBI and state partners for their hard work on this important case.”

“We have zero tolerance in our communities for those individuals violating anyone’s civil rights. Investigating allegations of civil rights violations continues to be a top priority for the FBI; and through our community liaison and law enforcement partnerships we will continue to investigate and mitigate the unwanted and unwarranted behavior of racially motivated individuals,” Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador said. “FBI Richmond encourages anyone who may have knowledge or is a victim of a hate crime to report it to law enforcement.”

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SOURCE: Times News

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