Burning cross investigated as hate crimeby Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office is investigating a cross burning in a family's front yard Friday as a hate crime.
Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said the victim looked out her window in Northern Township and saw an 8-foot cross burning on her lawn about 12:40 a.m. Friday.
The sheriff's department is working with the Bemidji Police Department, Hodapp said. They've also been contacted by the FBI.
"Sometimes these things can be attributable to what you might call a domestic terrorism organization. That doesn't appear to be the case here at all," Hodapp said. "It appears more like the act of an individual who just tried to terrorize this family."
Hodapp said there haven't been any similar acts in the county in recent memory. He urged anyone with knowledge of the hate crime to contact the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office.
"These kinds of acts aren't appreciated, and I don't think they are tolerated in our area," Hodapp said. "Anybody that does something like this deserves to be brought to justice and face whatever charges are going to be leveled against them."