Photo evidence in Louisiana church fires points to suspect

Black church fires: Louisiana suspect charged with hate crimes

Three black churches were torched in 10 days. It has a goal of $1.8million to be split among the three churches.

"It's a blessing, truly a blessing", the Rev. Freddie Jack, president of the Seventh District Missionary Baptist Association, said of the fundraising campaign in a telephone interview Tuesday night.

His arrest came over two weeks after the first fire broke out at the St Mary Baptist Church, followed by the Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, which were each more than 100 years old.

Local authorities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the ATF have all been working the cases which resulted in the arrest of Matthews last week.

Native American Terrell Johnson, a 19-year-old Columbia University student and member of the Assiniboine Tribe, wondered: "Why are we not as anxious about these sites being hurt that are historic to our minority groups, rather than majority groups?"

"All of your generous donations will be disbursed equally among all three churches for not only rebuilding their sanctuaries but for the purchase of all necessities lost in the fires, including pews, sound system, musical instruments, etc.", the GoFundMe page reads.

Notre Dame was undergoing major renovations when the fire occurred.

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But after a massive worldwide fundraising effort saw people reach deep into their pockets for the Notre Dame Cathedral, a wave of donations began to flood in for the Louisiana structures.

In the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire, a GoFundMe for the burned churches has gone viral, with the amount raised spiking from $50,000 on Sunday to over $1 million Wednesday morning. The churches had existed and served predominately black congregations for more than a century. When this particular string of crimes was investigated, it led to a group of young men who committed crimes against Black churches.

Bishop Talbert Swan said:;This obtuse, gaslighting, doltish, nazi defending, white supremacist, poltroon is tweeting about the #NotreDameCathedralFire, yet has said nothing about a white supremacist burning down 3 Black churches in Louisiana'.

The fire in Paris spread quickly from the roof near the rear of Notre Dame and, in less than an hour, it engulfed the spire, which later collapsed.

On Monday, three hate crimes charges were added against him in connection with the fires, multiple media outlets reported.

He faces three counts of arson on a religious building.

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