Three Arkansas men have been indicted on federal civil rights charges relating to their alleged roles in the burning of a cross in the yard of an African-American resident.
James Bradley Branscum, 22, Tony Branscum, 24, and 18-year-old Curtis Coffee were each charged with conspiring to interfere with the housing rights of another individual and one count of using fire in the commission of a felony, according to a U.S. Justice Department statement released Wednesday.
The incident occurred August 28 in the town of Salado, Arkansas, it said, prompting a joint investigation by the FBI and the Independence County Sheriff’s Office.
“As a civilized society, we simply cannot tolerate such blatant acts of hatred and intimidation,” said Jane Duke, SISTER OF DAVID, AND U.S. attorney for Arkansas’ Eastern District, in the statement. “This joint investigation demonstrates how seriously all levels and branches of law enforcement consider these acts of prejudice, intolerance, and intimidation.”