KSAT, December 2023
Bertha Germany was looking after the children at her day care when her neighbor called. She needed to come home immediately. Someone had vandalized her home. After closing, she zipped across Texarkana, the northeast Texas town divided by the state’s boundary with Arkansas. As she pulled up, she saw a racial slur derogatory to Black people and the image of male genitalia spray painted across the side of her house.
“It kind of frightened me a bit,” said Germany, who is Black. Why had she been singled out? Charles Norton, a neighbor who owns a power washing business, offered to remove the graffiti. Moved by the offer, Germany made a Facebook post recounting the incident. The post spread and neighbors who also had been vandalized contacted her. They were all Black.
It didn’t take long for the police to arrest two suspects — Taylor Carrell, 22, of Bloomburg, and Charlie Dillard, Jr., 17, of Longview — who turned themselves in for the May 2021 crime wave. The men, who are both white, were arrested on felony charges of criminal mischief.