Hate Crime Hoax: Black Man Arrested Made for ‘Vote Trump’ Burning of Mississippi Church

-By Warner Todd Huston

Police were investigating the burning of an African American church in Mississippi as a hate crime after graffiti reading “vote Trump” was found spray painted on an outside wall. But now authorities have reported that a black man has been arrested for the crime and race hate has been abandoned as a motive.

According to Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain, Leland, Mississippi, African American resident Andrew McClinton was charged with first-degree arson of a place of worship, CBS News Channel 3 reported Wednesday.

McClinton was arrested for the destruction of the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi. The church was burned on November 1, seven days before the 2016 Election Day.

The sanctuary of the church was heavily damaged while the rest of the building suffered water and smoke damage, authorities reported last month. The structure was deemed a total loss.

Police began investigating the crime as a hate crime because of the anti-Trump slogan spray painted on an outside wall.

Along with suspicions the arson was a hate crime, local authorities also said they were looking at the arson as a case of voter intimidation since the incident occurred just before Election Day in the majority black community.

At the time of the incident, Mayor Errick Simmons said he felt the arson was a race-related attack. “It happened in the ’50s, it happened in the ’60s, but we’re in 2016 and that should not happen,” he said.

The FBI also noted that it was working “with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to determine if any civil rights crimes were committed.”

But with the “hate crime” motive dispelled, no motive has yet been determined for McClinton’s actions. The suspect does, however, have a criminal record having served an 8-year prison sentence ending in 2012 for armed robbery.

The members of the predominantly African American church founded in 1905 have been meeting a a nearby church attended by a largely white congregation and are raising funds to rebuild their church.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as Constitution.com, CanadaFreePress.com, BizPac Review, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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