Washington, D.C. – Following reports that a suspect has been arrested and charged in connection to three recent church fires in Louisiana, Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyer’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law made the following statement:
“These church arsons resurrect bitter and painful memories of recent and historic attempts to intimidate African Americans by targeting their houses of worship. From the nine worshippers killed at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, to the four little girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, attacks on the Black church figure prominently among efforts by white supremacists to promote racial violence across our country” Clarke said.
“With a suspect now in custody, we hope that law enforcement officials will take seriously the likely racial motivation that drove the targeting of these three churches that have been peaceful places of worship and community for more than a century. Holding the perpetrators of racially motivated crimes accountable is critical to our nation’s efforts to combat the escalating hate crime crisis and rise in white nationalism that we face.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
Reynolds Graves, Lawyers’ Committee, [email protected], 202-662-8375