Cotton balls left in Rossville yard; family suspects incident was racially motivated

"I'm just heartbroken," Verina Massey said. "On Halloween, they're roll your house with toilet paper but I've never seen nobody do cotton, ever."

Throwing toilet paper on someone's yard is nothing new, but one Rossville family is refusing to pick up something else that appeared on their property Halloween night.

The family says they are the only black people who live on the street.

Neighbors say that's true, but they don't believe it's the reason someone only messed up their yard.

"I'm just heartbroken," Verina Massey said. "On Halloween, they roll your house with toilet paper but I've never seen nobody do cotton, ever."

Massey takes the situation very seriously.

"To me, someone's trying to give me a message that they want to move and my ancestors used to pick cotton. We're black people," she said.

That's why she is leaving it in her yard.

"It's 2018," she said. "I'm not picking no cotton."

Massey blames her neighbors for the mess.

Kenneth Carter lives three doors down.

He says neighbors have had a hard time getting along with the Massey family.

"They bring a lot of this on theirself," Carter said. "They act unruly, and it's not because they're black. It's because they are unruly. They don't live by any laws but their own."

According to police records, officers have been called to Massey's home four times in the last six months.

Carter says he reported problems and noise issues when police came to talk to him.

He doesn't know who put the cotton on the lawn. "They could have done this theirself," he said.

But, he doesn't want things to go on like they are.

"If they can't live here without all the bull****, move," he said.

"They made their message loud and clear," Massey said.

NewsChannel 9 got a copy of the police report officers made when Massey called them to her house Wednesday night.

It says the neighbors Massey accused of the vandalism told police they weren't home when it happened.

Police arrested two University of Missouri students back in 2010 for putting cotton balls on campus.

They investigated that as a hate crime.

Later the charges were changed to littering and they were sentenced to probation.

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