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Community shows up to support family of swastika lawn victim

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
A swastika was mowed into the front lawn owned by a black family on Gum Branch Road outside of Richlands.
A swastika was mowed into the front lawn owned by a black family on Gum Branch Road outside of Richlands.(Brandon Hardison)
Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 10:01 AM EDT
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - About a dozen people showed up Friday at the Richlands home where a swastika was mowed into the front lawn of a house owned by a Black family.

The incident was called in at around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, and is currently under investigation by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened at the 6900 block of Gum Branch Road, outside the city limits of Richlands.

The house is currently unoccupied but was left to a group of siblings by their grandparents, according to homeowners. They claim they’re repairing the home after damage from Hurricane Florence and plan to move in once they’re finished.

The homeowners said they’re disgusted that someone would take it upon themselves to disrespect their grandparents' legacy.

“There are tons of memories here, and to come back here and to see this, it’s a cowardly act,” said Homeowner Elena Lewis, “How do you have the right to deface someone else’s property?”

People who showed up in solidarity say incidents like this one are far too common in America.

“These people need me, these people need a lot of people,” said Janellys Manzano, “They need support. They need to know that at the end of the day, this won’t be tolerated. They’ve got people in their corner that are willing to help.”

Sheriff Hans Miller is encouraging anyone with information to contact the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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