17-year-old who led Black Lives Matter march says burning cross was left in his Virginia yard
Travon Brown's home in Virginia. Upon further inspection, the department discovered what appeared to be a wooden cross burning in a barrel in front of the residence of the march’s leader, Travon Brown. (WJHL)
A 17-year-old Virginia resident who helped lead a Black Lives Matter march over the weekend says a burning cross was left in his yard afterward.
Marion police are investigating the situation after extinguishing the fire and observing a wooden structure that “appeared to be in the shape of a cross” early Sunday morning, cops said.
Travon Brown, who helped organize the march, told local news outlet WJHL that “someone did burn a cross at my house” in what he believed was intended to be a scare tactic.
“The scaring tactic didn’t work,” the teenager told the TV station. “It only made me stronger. [I’m] coming back more powerful than ever, and I just hope that they pray about it, move on (and) come talk to me.”
He said he’d like to have a “civil conversation” with whoever is responsible.
Brown lives with his mother and 16-year-old sister, according to Buzzfeed.
Police said the Black Lives Matter march in Marion drew both protesters and counter-protesters on Saturday, and was mostly a peaceful event. One counter-protester was detained for an undisclosed offense, but charges were not pressed by a protester, cops said.
Following the apparent cross burning, Marion Police Chief John Clair released a statement.
“The Town of Marion Police Department is absolutely committed to ensuring that people of color in our community are safe,” he said. “Our department, along with Smyth County Sheriff’s office and federal authorities, will conduct and full and thorough investigation.”