Black Mississippi Church Burned And Vandalized With ‘Vote Trump’

A black church in Mississippi was burned and van­dal­ized with pro-Donald Trumpgraf­fi­ti late Tuesday. Authorities respond­ed to the fire at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, Tuesday night. Delta Daily News reports that the major­i­ty of the dam­age was to the main sanc­tu­ary and there were no report­ed injuries. Someone had spray-paint­ed the words “Vote Trump” along the side of the build­ing. A woman at the near­by Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church told The Huffington Post that Hopewell is a his­tor­i­cal­ly black church. She said the com­mu­ni­ty is in shock over what hap­pened.

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the inci­dent “a heinous, hate­ful and cow­ard­ly act” in a press con­fer­ence Wednesday, adding that it was “an attack on the black church and the black com­mu­ni­ty.” “This hap­pened in the ‘50s and the ‘60s,” he said. “This should not hap­pen in 2016.” Police Chief Delando Wilson said police are inter­view­ing wit­ness­es and talk­ing to “a per­son of inter­est,” although there are no sus­pects yet. The FBI told The Clarion-Ledger, a Mississippi news­pa­per, that it is aware of the sit­u­a­tion and is inves­ti­gat­ing to “deter­mine if any civ­il rights crimes were com­mit­ted.” There is already a GoFundMe page rais­ing mon­ey to repair the church. GoFundMe told HuffPost it is work­ing with the orga­niz­er of the page and will only release the funds to the church direct­ly.

ROGELIO V. SOLIS/​ASSOCIATED PRESS

Greenvile Fire Chief Ruben Brown said fire­fight­ers found flames and smoke com­ing from the sanc­tu­ary just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

ROGELIO V. SOLIS/​ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bishop Clarence Green is the pas­tor at the 200-mem­ber Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi. See more @ http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/​e​n​t​r​y​/​m​i​s​s​i​s​s​i​p​p​i​-​c​h​u​r​c​h​-​b​u​r​n​e​d​-​v​a​n​d​a​l​i​z​e​d​-​t​r​u​m​p​_​u​s​_​5​8​1​9​e​f​9​5​e​4​b​0​1​f​6​1​0​e​3​9​3​372