WINNSBORO, LA (KSLA) - The NAACP is urging authorities to fully investigate the attack on a Winnsboro, LA woman that her family says left her with burns over 60% of her body.
20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt remains at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, where she is expected to undergo surgery Tuesday. Authorities say she called 911 Sunday night from Civitan Park in Winnsboro, where she told dispatchers she had been attacked and set on fire by three men in hoodies. She was unable to identify her attackers.
Authorities have confirmed that racial slurs were spray-painted on Moffitt's car, along with the letters "KKK." Authorities are looking into whether race was a factor in the attack.
In a statement released by the NAACP Tuesday, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said, "The NAACP offers our prayers to Ms. Moffitt and her family in their time of crisis. Initial reports of racial animus in the incident are disturbing. We will remain vigilant as we urge authorities to conduct a full investigation into this crime. We encourage anyone with information on the incident to immediately report possible leads to authorities."
"We are shocked by the malicious actions of those involved and express best wishes to Sharmeka Moffitt and her family," stated NAACP Louisiana State Conference President Dr. Ernest L. Johnson, Sr. "We urge authorities to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the nature of this brutal crime, and to determine whether it was a hate crime. The Louisiana NAACP State Conference will exhaust all remedies available to see that justice is done and that the criminals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
At this point, police are not classifying the incident as a hate crime, but FBI agents are there investigating the possibility, along with Louisiana State Police and local law enforcement, the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department.