The Macon County Sheriff’s Office, along with other law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is investigating a cross burning that took place near Interstate 85 on Thursday night.
Several motorists on Interstate 85 noticed a fire on the County Road 54 overpass and called authorities at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. The cross began to fall onto the overpass railing and some of the motorists stopped and ran up to the fire to move it away from the overpass, Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson said.
The fire was then extinguished with the aid of a fire extinguisher when deputies arrived. Deputies found a burning cross, tire and gas can, Brunson said.
Brunson said his office is searching for evidence and is trying to make sure they find whoever was responsible.
“We just can’t let people get away doing that,” Brunson said. “That is something to strike fear in people's hearts, and we’re not going to let people make them afraid. We need to bring that person to justice."
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says “the image of a burning cross is one of the most potent hate symbols in the United States, popularized as a terror image by the Ku Klux Klan since the early 1900s.”
Brunson wants people to know that despite this symbol, there is nothing to fear.
“I just want people to know that we’re on top of it. Don’t be afraid,” he said. “This was done to make people afraid, and we’re not going to let people do that to us. We've got you.”
The incident is under investigation by the Macon County Sheriff's Office, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the FBI.