Police Officially Call Attack on Black Florida Church a ‘Hate Crime’

© Florida Today Part of the bishop's truck which was marked 'SS. Charleston 2'
© Florida Today
Part of the bishop’s truck which was marked ‘SS. Charleston 2’

A black Melbourne, Fla. church was vandalized, its property damaged and a truck belonging to the bishop’s found submerged in a pond with “SS. Charleston 2” scrawled on the side, My News 13 reports

Police have officially classified the attack as a hate crime, police Cmdr. Dan Lynch told Florida Today.

According to My News 13, the New Shiloh Christian Center bistro was also targeted, shattering glass and spraying fire extinguishers all over the building.

“They came back into the foyer area, and the flower that was sitting up was down on the floor,” Bishop Jacquelyn Gordon told the news station. “A portrait of myself and my husband, they took out of the main foyer and left it on the floor.”

But to Gordon, what was most terrifying was finding her husband’s vehicle spray painted with ‘Charleston 2’ and submerged in a pond with the doors open and glass everywhere.

This was the third time the church has been targeted, according to Gordon. A storage room at the church was set on fire. Vandals also spray painted swastikas on a storage unit shed, the news site reports, causing about $5,000 in damages in total for those two attacks. The police were hesitant to label the attacks a hate crime up until Monday, a source of Gordon’s frustration.

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Source: The Root | Breanna Edwards

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