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Tag: black church

FBI Investigates Fire at Black Church Where ‘Vote Trump’ Tagged on Side

2000px-washington_county_mississippi_incorporated_and_unincorporated_areas_greenville_highlighted-svgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a fire that tore through a black church in Mississippi that was scrawled with the message, “Vote Trump,” in silver spray paint.

The bureau’s civil rights investigation is in coordination with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.

The suspicious fire Tuesday night caused heavy damage to the 200-member Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, the New York Times reports. 

Mayor Errick Simmons described the fire and graffiti as a “heinous, hateful, cowardly act.”

“We consider it a hate crime … because of the political message which we believe was intended to interfere with worship and intimidate voters,” Simmons said. “This act is a direct assault on people’s right to freely worship.”

The FBI said it’s working with all levels of law enforcement.

“The FBI Jackson Division is aware of the situation in Greenville, and we are working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to determine if any civil rights crimes were committed,” state FBI spokesman Brett Carr said in an email.

FBI: Fire Not Intentionally Set in Church Previously Burned by KKK

greeleyville_scBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities were immediately suspicious when fire broke out inside a black church that the KKK had burned down in South Carolina 20 years ago.

After all, the fire came amid a string of suspicious fires at black churches following the shooting at Charleston’s historic African Methodist Episcopal Church less than a week earlier.

But the Associated Press reports that the FBI does not believe the fire was the work of an arsonist, according to an agent who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The fire broke out Tuesday evening as storms passed over the area, gutting the church.

Two KKK members pleaded guilty to burning the same church in 1995.

Arsonist Sentenced in Post-Obama Election Burning of Black Church

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man was sentenced to nearly 14 years for a 2010 arson incident, according to a statement from the FBI.

Michael Jacques, a 27-year-old of Springfield, Mass., was sentenced to 166 months in federal prison in connection with the arson of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield, a predominately African-American church, according to the statement, hours after Barack Obama was elected president. The prison term will be followed by four years of supervised release, and Jacques was also ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution, including $123,570 directly to the church.

The church was 75 percent complete, and the fire destroyed nearly everything, authorities said.

Jacques was found guilty in April of this year of conspiracy against civil rights, damage or destruction of religious property and use of fire to commit a felony. Benjamin Haskell and Thomas Gleason, Jacques’ co-conspirators, plead guilty to charges in 2010. Haskell was sentenced to nine years, while Gleason is set for sentencing in January.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

 

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Says Black Community Needs to Confront Violence and Other Social Ills

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Before a Sunday church crowd of more than 400 people in Long Island , Atty. General Eric Holder Jr. advocated a “spiritual awakening” among African Americans, saying the community needs to confront violence and other social ills that disproportionately impact blacks, Newsday reported.

Holder, a native of Queens, honed in on the absence of black fathers, which he said has hurt the family unit in  the black community.

“Too many men in the black community have created children and left them to be raised by caring mothers. These women do a wonderful job, but we ask too much of them and too little of our men,” Holder said at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, L.I., on Baldwin Turnpike, according to Newsday. “It should simply be unacceptable for a man to have a child and then not play an integral party in the raising and nurturing of the child.”