Police say a 20-year-old Louisiana woman faked a hate crime by setting herself on fire and blaming her injuries on the Ku Klux Klan. Sharmeka Moffitt called 911 from a city park in rural north Louisiana on Sunday. When police and paramedics arrived on the scene they found Moffitt burned over 90% of her body.
Moffitt is in critical condition at a Shreveport hospital. Her car was found spray painted with racial slurs including the letters 'KKK'. Early reports indicated that Moffitt was wearing a Barack Obama t-shirt when she was assaulted, leading the FBI to investigation the case as a so-called "Hate crime."
But further analysis of a cigarette lighter and a bottle of lighter fluid at the scene linked the items to the victim -- and no one else.
"This was not an attack, but a self-inflicted incident," Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas said at a Tuesday press conference.
Moffitt's case prompted emails to this blogger from readers who accused the national media of ignoring the story because Moffitt was black and an Obama supporter.
Moffitt's accusations is reminiscent of Tawana Brawley, who was 15 in 1987 when she accused six white NYPD police officers of raping her, scrawling racial slurs on her body, and discarding her in a dumpster.
The Tawana Brawley case inflamed racial tensions in New York that subsided only after it was determined that she made the story up to avoid the wrath of her mother after she stayed out past her curfew.
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