UPDATED 10-23-2012 2:25 PM ET – DEVELOPING STORY
Sharmeka Moffitt was on a walking trail in a public city park in northeastern Louisiana. She told police she was then attacked and set on fire by three men wearing white hoods. The men also scrawled the letters “KKK “on her car.
Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Lt. Julie Lewis says Moffitt was found with burns on more than half of her body when police responded to her 911 call Sunday night.
Moffitt extinguished the fire using water from a spigot before a police officer arrived. Lewis said the FBI is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, but that no arrests had been made as of late Monday.
Although the attackers apparently wrote the letters “KKK” on Moffitt’s vehicle, police said she was unable to determine whether the men were black or white. Local law enforcement said they were shocked at the attack at the otherwise serene park. Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas said he was “devastated” by the incident.
According to the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office, Moffitt was on the walking trail when she was attacked at about 8 p.m. on Sunday. Initially it was reported in some outlets she was wearing a President Obama T-shirt but this has not been confirmed.
The assailants allegedly doused her with racial epithets as well as gasoline, calling her the N-word repeatedly before scrawling the letters “KKK” on her car after they charred her body.
Sharmeka remained in critical condition on Monday at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Her family has set up a Facebook page, “Prayers for Sharmeka Moffitt” and is soliciting prayers for the 20-year-old.
According to KNOE 8 News, the mother of Sharmeka Moffitt is now in Shreveport. Edna Moffitt says her daughter has burns on her neck, chest, arms, and legs. She added that relatives are seeking the culprit behind the crime during the investigation by law enforcement.
“I want justice and I want them to pay for what they did to my baby,” Edna Moffitt said.” Because they should not have done that to her and I want them to feel the pain that she’s feeling now.”
Edna Moffitt believes several people are spreading false claims about her daughter during this investigation. She said some of those rumors are that she was sexually abused. The mother said it’s not true.
“They’re saying things about her that are not true, that she was raped,” the mother said. “She was not raped. She was not beaten. She was burned, 60-percent of her body.”
Edna Moffitt said her daughter has third degree burns. The victims sister, Michelle Moffitt also speaks out about the attack in the video below:
Law enforcement are continuing their investigation behind this matter. Police have asked anyone with information about the crime to call the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Department at (318) 435-4505
Relatives and friends are holding a candlelight vigil Tuesday night at Civitan Park scheduled to begin at 7. Also, they’ve started a Facebook Page in honor of the 20-year-old mother. To access that page, click this link: Prayers for Sharmeka Moffitt.
Obviously we have not arrived at a “post-racial America”?
What say you?