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Members of a Black family in Manhattan Beach, Calif., are calling for a hate crime investigation after their home was recently fire bombed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Manhattan Beach police announced on Friday that federal authorities were aiding in their investigation and looking at all possible motives, including race, according to the Times.

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The incident began about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday at the home of Ron and Mallisia Clinton, who say their race was the likely motive for the attack on their home, where they live with their three children and dog, the report says. Photos show the stucco exterior charred black, glass around the doorway shattered. Someone had filled a tire with gasoline and ignited it.  according to the news outlet:

Manhattan Beach police refused to comment on the incident outside of saying the blaze was “suspicious” and referred comment to the Fire Department. A Fire Department official told local media that the department was only investigating it as a potential arson. Neither department would discuss a potential motive for the attack…

“There’s no hard evidence,” Ron Clinton acknowledged to CBS-TV Channel 2, but he noted that there are few, if any, other black families in the area. “It was brought to my front door and it feels like it’s personal.”

Clinton said his dog’s bark and a smoke alarm woke him up. He, his children and the dog escaped uninjured, the report says:

“There’s very few African Americans in Manhattan Beach,” Clinton told KTLA-TV Channel 5. “Why us? Why our house specifically?”


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