In response to courtroom information, Cox selected to burn a cross in entrance of a Black household due to their race. He additionally allegedly addressed the household with racially derogatory language, the information present. The incident occurred on Dec. 3, 2020.
Federal prosecutors mentioned the Gulfport man violated his neighbors’ housing rights. The statute Cox is accused of violating falls underneath the Civil Rights Act of 1968. That regulation says it’s unlawful for a person to intervene with any individual’s housing rights primarily based on race.
Vangela M. Wade, president of the Mississippi Middle for Justice, mentioned cross burnings harken again to the overt racism of the Jim Crow South.
“That is one other stark reminder of how bigotry, racism, and hate-fueled violence are alive and effectively in our nation. Mississippi is not any exception,” Wade mentioned. “The struggle to dismantle Mississippi’s deeply entrenched tradition of injustice and a greater tomorrow continues. We’re grateful for the braveness of the members of the federal grand jury to indict this hate crime.”
A grand jury indicted Cox in September. Courtroom information have been unsealed earlier than his first courtroom look on Friday. Decide Robert Myers ordered Cox held with out bond pending a jury trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 7.
Cox might face a number of years in jail and a $250,000 superb regarding every cost if convicted.
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Andrea Cabell Jones for the Southern District of Mississippi and Noah Coakley II of the Justice Division’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.
Cox’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark by The Related Press.
Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points. Comply with him on Twitter at twitter.com/mikergoldberg.