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Anoka cross burning

September 26, 2007

As the sun came up one Wednesday morning, De'Andre June could see something funny on his front lawn. Funny weird, not funny ha ha. Some dastardy person had burned a cross into the grass next to his driveway.

As everybody knows, or is at least supposed to know, a burning cross is the signature of the Ku Klux Klan, and since De'Andre June was black, the vandalism was immediately assumed to be a hate crime. By the police who launched a hate crime investigation, by June's white neighbors who were aghast and ashamed and brought the June family flowers and cards, and by the Minneapolis community at large.

"Iím not going anywhere," proclaimed De'Andre, putting on a brave front, "because if I leave, they won."

Unfortunately for him, he'd bragged to fellow inmates about his plan to burn a cross into his own lawn during a stint in the county jail six months earlier. He was hard up for bail money at the time, facing various charges in various jurisdictions, and planned to burn the cross for purposes of sympathy and profit.

Turns out they have televisions in the Anoka County Jail, and when his inmate buddies saw him waxing self-righteous and hamming up the victim role for TV cameras, they thought it was a hoot and shared their amusement with county deputies.

Three days after the cross burning, De'Andre June was facing charges for falsely reporting a crime, disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. He wasn't hard to find: he was back in the county jail after being arrested for something else.


9/26/07 - Star Tribune - Cross burned into Anoka family's lawn

9/28/07 - Pioneer Press (via Sweetness & Light) - Police say cross burned into lawn was a hoax

9/29/07 - Star Tribune - 'Victim' of cross burning in Anoka now faces charges

Posted from Reno, Nevada, USA

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