Teen Girl Arrested In Plot To Attack Black Church In Georgia

On Tuesday, police in Gainesville, Georgia, arrested a 16-year-old girl, who is white, for allegedly plotting to murder worshippers at a predominantly black church.
“Our investigation indicated the church was targeted by the juvenile based on the racial demographic of the church members,” said police Chief Jay Parrish Tuesday in a statement reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The church was immediately notified of the incident by Gainesville police to ensure the safety of our community and the current threat was under control.”
AJC reports that the teen’s alleged plot was first discovered by students who reported to Gainesville High School administrators that the suspect had “detailed plans to commit murder” at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church written in her notebook. The administrators notified the school resource officers Friday, who verified the students’ claims, and turned the investigation over to the Gainesville Police Department.
Authorities took the girl into custody on Tuesday, charging her with criminal attempt to commit murder.
“Investigators aren’t sure how long the teen had allegedly been planning the attack, but ‘disturbing information’ and drawings police found indicate the plot had been in the works for at least two weeks,” AJC reports, citing Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Holbrook.
As detailed by The Washington Post, the suspect’s notebook allegedly contains violent drawings and racist messages and an alarming degree of specificity about her plans, which appear to have included using knives and other sharp-edged weapons to kill the minority parishioners.
“There were many writings and drawings, different depictions, and a lot of hateful messages in it,” Sgt. Holbrook told the Post. “As far as the details go, they were down to very specific information.”
The plot, he stressed, was “definitely racially motivated,” and her notebook contained “manifesto-type” language similar to other mass murderers.

“Police said the girl researched African American churches online, choosing Bethel AME Church because it is small,” the Post reports.
Police say that the girl visited the church earlier this month, perhaps to carry out her plot, but found the church empty.
“By pure grace, the church did not have service that evening,” Holbrook said. “We were very fortunate here.”
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, who oversees the church’s district, agreed that the alleged failed attempt was divine intervention. However, her targeting of the predominantly black church, he said, is unsurprising.
“While we are very concerned about this incident, we are not surprised,” said the bishop, referencing the recent targeting of other houses of worship, including the massacre of nine congregants at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015 by a white supremacist, which church leaders believe inspired the teen girl.
Another tragic targeting of a house of worship occurred in 2018 in Pittsburgh, where an anti-Semitic gunman murdered 11 Jewish congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue. A synagogue in Colorado was also recently targeted by an anti-Semite; as with the Gainesville case, authorities were able to arrest the suspect before he was able to carry out his plot.
AJC cites hate crime expert Stockton University Assoc. Professor Susan Fahey as noting at a recent American Society of Criminology conference that statistics show that hate crimes are on the rise nationally and have been so before the election of Donald Trump.
Bishop Jackson acknowledged the fact, but suggested that the administration could take more action.”You can’t blame it on the current administration,” he said, “but I think it is absolutely critical that this administration address the issue of domestic terrorism.”
Teen Girl Arrested In Plot To Attack Black Church In Georgia Teen Girl Arrested In Plot To Attack Black Church In Georgia Reviewed by Your Destination on November 21, 2019 Rating: 5

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