Region 8 Community Leader Victim of Hate Crime - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Kennett, MO -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Region 8 Community Leader Victim of Hate Crime

April 19, 2005 – Posted at 5:39 p.m. CDT

KENNETT, MO -- A Region 8 resident is the victim of a hate crime and she's speaking out about it.

Community leader Pat Allen got a surprise in the mail. A packaged compact disk she thought was from fellow school board member Jack Short, whom she had had disagreements with in the past.

“I opened it up and I looked at it and on it there was a note that said whenever you listen to this go to track 12 because I thought of you when I heard it,” said Allen.

Allen and her husband listened to the CD and were shocked by what they heard.

“It starts off with the tune of Glory, Glory Hallelujah, but then after that, that's when it starts to digress,” said Allen.

The music was full of racial slurs.

“You are sitting there and you're thinking am I hearing what I'm hearing?” said Allen, “Because you know you've heard of things like this but you yourself are never expecting to get a hate CD.”

Allen didn't go to the authorities immediately because of the upcoming school board election. She felt the negative publicity could hurt Short's campaign and she didn’t believe he had sent it.

“I felt like someone was using that to keep him from being reelected, and they were also trying to get me with the race issue,” said Allen.

“We're taking it very seriously, it's considered a hate crime,” said Kennett Police Chief Barry Tate.

 The CD is now at the SEMO Crime Lab and police are working to find out who did this.

“The United States Postal Inspectors have been contacted to help us investigate this matter,” said Chief Tate, “We are just waiting to see what happens.”

Allen says the incident has her a little more cautious, but she isn't changing her views.

“I've been able to find a support base here of blacks and whites. So by no way is the fact that I received that indicative of the whole community,” said Allen, “It's just those few cowards and I cannot say that enough that they are cowards.”

Anyone with any information about this crime is asked to contact the Kennett Police Department. They can be reached at (573) 888-4622.

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