Oops, They Did It Again: Black Suspect Arrested In Black Church Burnings
November 28, 2017, 01:58 PM
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From Newsweek on Sunday:
FIVE BLACK NEW JERSEY CHURCHES ATTACKED, POLICE INVESTIGATING AS HATE CRIMES

BY LAUREN GILL ON 11/26/17 AT 10:07 AM

Vandals struck five New Jersey churches with predominantly black congregations this weekend — incidents that police are investigating as possible hate crimes. …

The five churches that were victims of the crime were Baptist, Methodist Episcopal and Pentecostal, led by black preachers, and with strong black followings. …

New Jersey’s governor-elect responded to the news on Twitter, condemning the vandals for their “cowardly acts.”

“Disgusted by reported vandalism of African-American churches across Morristown. These cowardly acts will not shake our faith,” wrote Phil Murphy. “They will renew our determination to come together as one NJ.”

Hate crimes in the United States have increased since President Donald Trump took office, with more than 6,100 reported instances in 2016, up from more 5,800 in 2015, according to Federal Bureau of Investigations data.

Black churches, which have been targets of such crimes for centuries, are regular victims of the attacks …

From the Morristown Daily Record on Monday:
Prosecutor: Morris County church vandalism not a bias crime

William Westhoven, Peggy Wright and Jai Agnish, Morristown Daily Record Published 10:19 p.m. ET Nov. 25, 2017 | Updated 7:19 a.m. ET Nov. 27, 2017

The vandalism at five Morristown-area churches with predominantly black congregations was not motivated by bias, the Morris County Prosecutor said in a prepared statement Sunday evening.

The damage was allegedly caused by one man, who was a former congregant of one of the churches, Fredric M. Knapp, the Morris County prosecutor, said.

“As a result of the investigation, no evidence was obtained that would indicate this was a bias incident which legally requires purpose to intimidate a person or group based upon their protected class,” Knapp said.

Zuri C. Towns, 45, of Morristown was arrested and charged with four fourth degree counts of criminal mischief, and one third degree count of criminal mischief.

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