Possible hate crime investigated

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

Andalusia police are investigating what may have been a racially motivated hate crime that occurred last week in the Wing trailer Court off of Highway 55.

"We went over to my niece's house," said Jonathon Buxton, who lives on Jessica Lane in the trailer park. "The lady next door said she had seen

a cross in our yard. By the time we got back, it had been burned and removed.

It just left a black spot, like they were marking their territory or something."

According to Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams, the incident was reported at 11:50 a.m. Oct. 26.

"This supposedly occurred on Thursday night," said Williams, who said investigating officers found scorched earth where the cross had been seen.

Buxton, whose brother Theodore Taylor called the incident in, said the cross was placed between trailers housing the only two black families in that section of the park.

"There are some others on the other street," he said. "We don't bother anybody. We're waiting to see if it will happen again."

"I just figured it was something racial and stupid. We've been out here since March of this year, but we haven't had any problems," said Melissa Taylor, who owns the trailer with her husband Theodore. "We don't need trouble like that."

Buxton said they never saw the actual cross, he said the neighbor had seen it placed in their yard when she was leaving, then saw it burning when she returned. No one is sure when the cross was removed.

"I've got nieces and nephews in here, they were real scared. We stayed up all night and kept walking around, checking the trailer," said Buxton.

He said he didn't know who might have placed the cross there or why, but said the officers looking into the incident appeared to be very concerned about the matter.