ADL Deeply Concerned About Alleged Hate Crime Against African American Family In Lilesville, North Carolina

Jul 10, 2013, 15:46 ET from Anti-Defamation League

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed deep concern over recent reports of a cross burning incident which took place in Lilesville, North Carolina on July 6, 2013.

According to news reports, police were called to a residence in Lilesville at 4:30 a.m., where officers found a cross burning in an African American family's yard.  Four Caucasian individuals have been arrested and charged in connection with what police have deemed as a hate crime due to the crime's racially motivated nature.

"We are appalled to learn of this incident," said Melissa Gluck, ADL Assistant Regional Director.  "No one should be targeted by hate due to their race, national origin, or any other identifying characteristic."

"Hate crimes deserve priority attention because the impact resonates throughout the entire community and threatens the safety and well-being of every member of that group," Ms. Gluck continued. "Perpetrators of hate crimes send a message to their victims, and everyone else who shares the victim's characteristics, that they are not welcome or safe. The Anti-Defamation League wants those in the African American and Lilesville community to know that we stand with them in the fight against these crimes."

The League commended the Lilesville Police Department and the Anson County Sheriff's Office for their swift and diligent investigation into the bias motivation of this crime. "If officials find that this was indeed a bias-motivated attack, we call upon the Lilesville Police Department and Anson County Sheriff's Office to prosecute this crime to the full extent permitted under North Carolina's Hate Crime Statute," said Ms. Gluck.

Hate crime statutes have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. Many of those laws are based on a model statue crafted by the ADL, which has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate-motivated criminal activity.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

SOURCE Anti-Defamation League