Horrific gang rape of 11-year-old girl sparks racial tension as all the accused are black and the victim Hispanic
Activist claims arrests show 'selective prosecution' of African-American community
Meeting planned to discuss arrests receives 'death threats'
Outrage over newspaper report that claimed victim 'dressed older than her age, wearing make-up'
Defence attorney slammed for suggesting girl was a 'willing participant'
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 10:21 AM on 11th March 2011
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Questions over arrests: Black activist Quanell X said a planned meeting over the arrests had drawn death threats
The sickening gang rape of an 11-year-old girl - which may have involved up to 28 boys and men - threatens to divide a U.S. community and flare racial tension in the region.
As more shocking details emerge of the prolonged sexual assault in Cleveland, Texas, it has been revealed that all 18 suspects charged so far are African-American and the victim is Hispanic.
Police, prosecutors and defence attorneys have said more people may be linked to the assault, as the victim herself - who cannot be named because she is a minor - says that at least 20 people were involved.
Other people viewed and distributed digital still images and digital footage of the attacks taking place - captured by some of the attackers on their mobile phones - which may lead to further charges.
But one black activist has claimed that the arrests show the African-American community is being targeted in the 8,000-strong town.
Quanell X, leader of the Black Panther movement in Houston - a mere 45 miles away - told ABC News: 'Every adult male that had sex with this child should go to prison, I don't care what the colour is.
'But I do not believe black males are the only ones that had contact with this young child. It appears to me there's only been the selective prosecution of one community, which is African-American.'
He said he planned to host a town meeting tonight, called What's The Real Truth Behind The Rape Allegations?, but the original venue had to be changed because its owners had 'received some death threats'.
Newspaper reports of the attack have been criticised for suggesting that the young girl might have been in some way responsible for the attack.
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The New York Times was forced to issue a statement today after an article was published on Tuesday - reporting statements of Cleveland residents.
Reporter James C. McKinley wrote: 'They said she dressed older than her age, wearing make-up and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.'
Website Change.org picked up on the comment and started a petition, calling for The Times to apologize.
Yesterday, the paper published a letter from a Brooklyn resident, who referred to the section of the report and asked: 'How is this relevant except to subtly blame the victim?'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365112/Horrific-gang-rape-18-men-girl-11-Texas-sparks-racial-tension.html#ixzz1GJhIilAT
Why is this acceptable?