Mississippi Man Jailed for Burning a Cross Near the Home of an African American Family

A Mississippi man has been jailed for his part in a cross-burning that intended to "threaten, frighten, and intimidate" black families.

Louie Bernard Revette, 38, has been sentenced to 11 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of interference with housing rights and one count of using fire to commit a federal felony following an incident in Seminary on October 24, 2017.

Revette, along with his co-conspirator Graham Williamson, built and burned a cross near the home of an African American child who lived in the predominantly black area of Seminary.

The Department of Justice said the pair set fire to the cross in order to threaten, frighten and intimidate the child and other black families in the area due to their race and color.

Following the guilty plea, the Honorable Judge Keith Starrett, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, sentenced Revette to 11 years in jail for his commission of cross burning, an act widely associated with racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

"The defendant terrorized members of a community simply because of their race and where they lived," Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. "The Department of Justice will not tolerate these acts of hate, and we will continue to prosecute hate crimes like these to the fullest extent of the law."

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi added: "Those who instill fear and terror into our neighbors and our fellow citizens because of the color of their skin will face the full weight and force of the law from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"There is absolutely no place in our society or our country for this type of behavior, and we will do all that we can to prevent these racist acts and bring to justice those who are intent on committing these crimes."

"All Mississippians have the right to feel safe in their communities, but crimes like these only tear open wounds that are still healing," said Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. "The FBI and our partners will not tolerate crimes motivated by hate, and we will vigorously pursue those that commit them."

In August, Williamson pleaded guilty to the same two charges for his role in the Seminary cross burning. He faces a maximum of 30 years in jail and a $500,000 fine when he is sentenced on November 5.

"Williamson acknowledged that he knew burning crosses have historically been used to threaten, frighten, and intimidate African-Americans," the DoJ said in a statement at the time.

cross burning
(File photo) Members of the Ku Klux Klan hold a cross burning near Pulaski, Tennessee, the birthplace of the KKK. A Mississippi man has been jailed for burning a cross outside the home of black families. Mark Peterson/Corbis/Getty