A Black Texas family is making headlines after their cars were set on fire and their house was vandalized during a possible hate crime.
Jayla Gipson and Charles Crawford of Little Elm, Texas called the police after their cars were set ablaze outside their home, and “Trump 2020” was painted on their garage. They believe they were targeted because of a “Black Lives Matter” sign on their lawn.
Jayla recently told WFAA that her son got up in the middle of the night and saw the family cars, a Kia Forte and Nissan Optima, on fire outside.
“If he hadn’t done that, my house might be burned down,” she said noting that her other child’s bedroom is near the front of the house.
Jayla and Charles were initially baffled to see the cars up in flames but when the smoke cleared they noticed “Trump 2020” graffiti written on their garage.
“That escalated things quickly,” Jayla said. “We felt like we were targeted.”
Jayla and Charles also noted that the BLM sign on their property was crossed out with the same bright red paint used on their garage door, another hint that this was a targeted attack.
“That sign was in my yard for less than two weeks and then all of a sudden we get a tragedy like this,” Jayla told WFAA. “I would have preferred they just take the sign. But to set the house on fire? That’s going way too far.”
An arson investigation is ongoing and so far Little Elm police say it’s “too soon” to call the incident a hate crime.
The couple’s neighbors have banded together to help the family who estimates the damage to the cars and their home totals around $70,000.
One brought over a pressure washer and paint to clean up the damage, and another even bought the couple a camera system. A GoFundMe for the couple has also been launched to help the couple recover and to lighten the load in particular for Jayla who recently had tumors removed from her brain.
“It’s not easy for us to financially take care of this right now,” said Jayla. “It’s just devastating. I never thought this could happen in Little Elm.”
Best wishes to this family!
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