Black Man Arrested For Burning Down Black Churches
Last week, we reported that someone was running around and setting fire to a number of Black churches all around Ferguson, Missouri, the site of Michael Brown’s murder at the hands of the police.
Given the city’s racial tension following last year’s unrest, authorities weren’t ruling out the possibility that a racist was behind the church burnings. But as it turns out, the arsonist may have been a Black man.
Via The Atlantic:
St. Louis-area police have arrested David Lopez Jackson, a 35-year-old black man, in connection with the burning of churches around the area. Jennings has been charged with two counts of second-degree arson.
There have been seven fires in St. Louis and nearby Jennings over the course of October. The arsons struck a range of denominations, but mostly black churches. A sixth church was racially mixed, while the seventh was predominantly white. The fires ran the gamut from minimal to serious damage.
Because of the long history of arson attacks on black churches—including several this summer and a long spree in the mid-1990s—and because of the tense race relations in St. Louis since the death of Michael Brown in August 2014, the fires immediately raised the specter of hate crimes.
Indeed, the suspect arrested Thursday is black, and authorities didn’t offer any indication about a motive during a news conference Friday afternoon. Police have only charged Jackson with fires at the New Life Missionary Baptist Church and Ebenezer Lutheran, but they said he’s a suspect in the others. His car was spotted near the New Life, and forensic evidence tied him to Ebenezer; there were also gas containers in his car, police said. All seven fires were similar in type and location, generally around doors.
Plot twist like a mofo! Will be interesting to hear his reasoning for burning down Black churches and adding fuel to to the city’s racial tension.