Police Arrest Man For Arson Of Black Mississippi Church, ‘Vote Trump’ Graffiti

Police arrested a man Wednesday in connection with an arson attack on a historically black church in Greenville, Mississippi, that happened one week before Election Day.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported that Andrew McClinton, who is African-American and is 45 years old, was arrested for the arson and graffiti of Hopewell Baptist Church, in which “Vote Trump” had also been written on the side of the building. The church’s pastor confirmed to the Associated Press that McClinton is a member of the parish.

McClinton was charged with first degree arson of a place of worship, according to local news station WCBI. AP reported that it was unclear whether McClinton is represented by attorney.

The FBI had opened a civil rights investigation into the Nov. 1 incident to determine if it had been a hate crime.

AP reported that it was unclear whether politics motivated the arson.

“We do not believe it was politically motivated. There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated,” Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who is also the state’s fire marshal, told the AP.

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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