13- and 14-year-old charged with painting racial slur on pastor's SUV

13- and 14-year-old charged with painting racial slur on pastor's SUV

COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC) - Collierville Police Department charged two people with vandalism after racist graffiti was written on a car outside Collierville High School.

Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner identified the children as being 13 and 14 years old. Joyner said the suspects were in 8th and 9th grade.

Joyner then went on to strongly denounced the actions of the teens.

"This is an affront to the Collierville we know and love, and it is alien to the Collierville I grew up in," Joyner said.

Joyner went on to issue an apology to Pastor Jason Mitchell.

"This cowardly act in no way represents the character, culture, or sentiment of the Collierville community at large," Joyner said.

Mitchell's Cadillac Escalade was tagged with spray paint while parked outside Collierville High School on August 13.

Investigators received surveillance video from the school that showed two teens painting a racial slur on the SUV.

The teens are charged through Shelby County Juvenile Court with vandalism and civil rights intimidation.

Mitchell and Joyner said they don't believe the vandalism was specifically targeted at Mitchell.

"What happened was not an isolated incident. What happened is the manifestation of a structural and systemic thought pattern and so many inequities that have to be addressed more robustly," Pastor Earle Fisher said. Fisher is a Memphis pastor who has been friends with Mitchell for many years.

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