/  12.21.2020

The Little Elm Police Department is investigating the attack of a Black family whose cars were set ablaze and garage was vandalized with graffiti.

As the Little Elm Journal reported, Jayla Gipson and Charles Crawford were in their home around midnight on Dec. 9 when Gipson’s son — who was on his way to use the bathroom — noticed one of the family vehicles on fire and quickly informed his relatives, who were able to exit the home safely.

Emergency responders arrived at the home and helped to extinguish the fire. “If he hadn’t done that, my house might be burned down,” Gipson told WFAA. “My daughter’s bedroom is towards the front of the house, so this could have been really bad.”

Bricks were used to break the cars’ windows, and the red paint used to write “Trump 2020” on their garage door was also used to cross out the words “Silence = Violence” on the family’s Black Lives Matter sign — which may have possibly sparked the alleged “political” attack.

“We definitely feel targeted,” Gipson told the Journal. “It’s political, and it’s uncalled for. I don’t feel like we should have to go through that. This is because of my family’s identity and that we shared a Black Lives Matter sign.”

“That sign was in my yard for less than two weeks, and then all of a sudden we get a tragedy like this,” she added in an interview with WFAA. “I would have preferred they just take the sign. But to set the house on fire? That’s going way too far.”

Gipson believes that she and her family are victims “of a harmful political jab” as well as a potential hate crime, but the police department said it’s too early in the investigation to determine whether the latter is true.

Gipson’s accumulated cost of damages is $70,000. A GoFundMe has been created to offset at least $50,000. In the interim, community members have rallied to assist Gipson and her family, purchasing security camera systems and paint to cover up the graffiti.


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