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Man pleads guilty to federal hate crime for cross burning

KEYT

By MICHAEL GOLDBERG
Associated Press/Report for America

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man who burned a cross in his front yard to intimidate his Black neighbors has pleaded guilty in federal court to a hate crime. The Justice Department announced Friday that Axel Cox of Gulfport admitted to burning a cross in front of a Black family because of their race. The move violated the Fair Housing Act. He also addressed the family with racially derogatory language in the December 2020 incident. The Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups have long practiced cross-burnings to intimidate Black and Jewish people. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March. Cox faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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