A vigil is set tonight in the Louisiana town of Winnsboro where a 20-year-old black, female college student was set afire Sunday night in a park and her car smeared with racial slurs and the letters KKK.
The mother of Sharmeka Moffitt said the young woman is expected to undergo surgery today at a LSU Hospital in Shreveport, after being burned on over 60 percent of her body.
Initial reports in social media on Monday said that Sharmeka was wearing an Obama T-shirt at the time of the attack, but her mother told KSLA news that she was not wearing an Obama shirt. She also corrected other rumors.
“She was not raped. She was not beaten. She was burned,” said Edna Moffitt.
Sharmeka was walking in Civitan Park when she was attacked by three men wearing hoods or hoodies. She told authorities that she could not see their faces.
Authorities have not classified the incident as a hate crime, but state police were on the scene investigating within hours, state Sen. Rick Gallot, told BlackAmericaweb.com. “I understand the FBI is also investigating,” Gallot said.
“Anytime there is a crime of this magnitude, so senseless and brutal, you have to wonder what would motivate someone to inflict that type of pain on another individual,” Gallot said.
Tony Brown, host of a morning talk show carried on five Louisiana radio stations, said he broke the story on "Eyes Open Tony Brown" then traveled to Winnsboro to talk with residents and officials.
“This has developed an environment of fear in that community,” Brown told BlackAmericaweb.com. “We’ve seen an increase of racially motivated incidents in Louisiana and other parts of the country since the election of President Obama.
Winnsboro, is in Franklin Parish, about 30 to 45 northeast of Jena in LaSalle Parish. It was in that town in 2005 where national attention was focused after six young black men were jailed following a fight with a white schoolmate in a town where there had been racial division.
Winnsboro has a population less than 5,000 according the U.S. Census. A majority of residents in that town are black, but the largest percentage of residents in the parish is white, Brown said.
Both the mayor and police chief in Winnsboro are black. Attempts by BlackAmericaweb.com to reach Chief Lester Thomas and Mayor Jackie Johnson were unsuccessful.
Gallot and Brown applauded law enforcement for moving quickly to bring in additional resources for the investigation.
“This happened around 8 p.m. and by 1 a.m., state police were in there,” Brown said.
Gallot said he had confidence that the investigators will get questions answered regarding the incident.
“There have been a lot of rumors and speculation out there,” Gallot said. “I caution everyone not to rush to judgment, but to allow the professional investigators to handle this.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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