The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the identification of those who were involved in the vandalism of two Melbourne, Fla., churches, one of which has a predominantly black congregation that was targeted three times with spray-painted swastikas and other messages, Florida Today reports.
The New Shiloh Christian Center was targeted in February at one location on Sarno Road before it was targeted again at the congregation’s University Boulevard site, the news site notes. The Central Baptist Church was also targeted by vandals.
New Shiloh Christian Center, which is predominantly black, was targeted once more in July, at which point, the case was classified as a “hate crime,” after authorities initially stated that the vandalism was likely the work of juveniles.
According to Florida Today, the Brevard County FBI office said that both churches were “victims of hate crimes, including arson, burglary, grand theft and vandalism,” in a statement Monday.
One of the more chilling details out of New Shiloh Christian Center’s case was a message scrawled on the side of the truck belonging to the bishop, which was found submerged in the pond. The graffiti read, “SS. Charleston 2,” most likely referring to the recent mass slaying of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
Source: The Root | BREANNA EDWARDS