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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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