Courts & Crime

FBI now helping problem in cross burning in San Luis Obispo

The mother of a black Arroyo Grande teen said she’s heartened by the outpouring of support in the few days since a cross was shoved into the ground and set on fire outside her daughter’s bedroom window.

But the cross-burning incident — which police are investigating as an arson and hate crime — will leave a scar.

“I will protect her always,” the teen’s mother said Monday. “I thought I had done a great job protecting her from harm until this point. This just destroyed her faith and mine.”

In the meantime, the city has stepped up its response to the incident. After releasing scant information about the burning Friday, and with media and local residents asking for more details, city officials called a news conference Monday to stress the seriousness of the crime and their investigation.

Residents across San Luis Obispo County — including a large number of religious leaders — have spoken out against the crime.

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