PHOTOS: FBI, police investigate possible hate crime in Fort Smith

KNWA

WARNING: You may find the language and images in the above video disturbing.

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFTA) — It was a not-so-welcome home for the Henderson’s who as of Thursday, Sept. 12, had only lived in their apartment in the 8500 block of South 32nd Terrace for four days.

“My son came in and said, “… you need to come outside… .””

Amber Henderson went outside and said she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

Henderson found all four of her car tires slashed and racially-charged, insensitive language spray-painted on her car, as well a friend’s car and her garage.

“We have a lot of money that we have to put in to fix everything and we’re frustrated with that,” Henderson’s sister Shelby Furr explained.

It’s not just the forseeable costs that will be associated with the destruction that’s upsetting to Henderson and Furr, but that their mixed-race children had to see the discriminatory messages.

“It makes them feel like they have to watch over their back because they’re mixed (race)… ” Henderson continued, “I moved here because I wanted my kids to feel safe playing outside or whatever they’re doing and now I don’t even want them outside.”

At this time the Fort Smith Police Department is investigating the vandalism as a criminal mischief incident.

Police are in the process of finalizing the offense report, and criminal investigations division is following up on leads.

The incident also has been referred to the FBI for consideration as a hate crime under federal law.

Aric Smith spokesperson for the Fort Smith Police Department declined to discuss further details, as the case has been turned over to the FBI, however, he did say, “It’s absolutely sickening and has no place in this or any community.”

If you have any information on this case, please notify detectives at 709-5116.

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