Alan Mays has been pleading with authorities for answers after his Tennessee home was burned down and a racial slur spray-painted on his property a year ago.
Last November, a fire destroyed the family’s seven-bedroom home in Ripley. Authorities are investigating the cause. Mays says he’s growing disillusioned with the system as his family now faces homelessness. “We were never given any kind of closure,” the father told CNN.
Despite a documented pattern of harassment against Mays’ multiracial family, authorities treat the fire as an accident, according to Mays. Mays says his family has been targeted for years, from repeated break-ins to people shouting racial slurs around their house.
In the early hours of November 1, 2021, the Mays family was away on vacation when the fire broke out. According to the Ripley Fire Department’s incident report, firefighters arrived at their home after their house alarm went off and a neighbor reported seeing flames coming from the house.
The report also stated that water had to be shuttled from other county departments because there was no nearby water source. However, Mays said there was an accessible fire hydrant at the end of his street.
There was a “total loss” to the house, according to the report. In addition, “graffiti” was painted on the wall over the pool.
According to Tennessee law, a hate crime cannot be labeled until a suspect has been identified, which has yet to be done by law enforcement. Because of this, the case is pending as a “suspicious fire.”
As a result of the fire, Mays and his family are living in an apartment complex south of Nashville. Nevertheless, Mays shared that they will be homeless next week due to the fact that their insurance company is no longer covering their housing costs.