Racial tensions still running high in Paris

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

PARIS, TX - Racial tensions continue in North Texas after last Friday, when word spread that the Black Panthers and members of the Ku Klux Klan would be in Paris.

At the center of all of this is a teenage girl, Shaquanda Cotton, accused of pushing a teacher. Cotton is now serving an indeterminate amount of time in a Texas Youth Commission facility.

Some say her sentence was unfair and too harsh, and another protest took place today.

About 350 people gathered around the east lawn of the Lamar County Courthouse. The courthouse was on lockdown, with deputies standing by outside. People from the New Black Panthers of Dallas and local citizens were outside chanting phrases such as, “Free Shequanda Now!” The protesters said they planned to stay all afternoon in a case that is now receiving national attention.

Authorities say the protest, which ended about 12:30 this afternoon, was peaceful.

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