FBI: Macon County cross burning incident a hate crime

Updated: Jun. 5, 2020 at 3:19 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MACON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation has classified the burning of a cross in Macon County as a hate crime.

According to Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson, the incident happened Thursday evening on County Road 54 east. The cross was positioned between two tires on an overpass above Interstate 85.

“Whoever did this I would just say they’re a coward,” said Brunson

Brunson says some bystanders spotted the burning cross, which had fallen onto the overpass rail. The bystanders moved the cross so that it would not fall onto the roadway below. The sheriff’s office responded to the scene and put out the fire.

“That was kind of dangerous because it could have fallen over and hit somebody’s car. Thankfully, somebody went up there and pulled it down,” Brunson said.

“It’s crazy right now. A lot of racial tension and things going on, but I just think it’s crazy in 2020 that we have to deal with this. And as the sheriff of Macon County, we’re going to hold whoever did this responsible because right now they’re stirring up a lot of stuff, and really, really, really upsetting the people right now and scaring the people,” Brunson said.

In addition to the burned cross, spray painted graffiti, including the N-word, were also present.

“I don’t think it was targeted towards one person. I think what they did it for was to put fear into people’s hearts and make them think something’s going on, you know, just to scare people,” said Brunson

The sheriff also said this is his first incident like this as sheriff.

Several residents have reached out to the sheriff expressing their concern and said they won’t take incidents like this in their community.

“I don’t like what happened. Hopefully, we can prevent this from happening again, but we definitely want to find the person that did this and bring them to justice,” the sheriff said.

No arrests have been made.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.