Black church fires: Louisiana suspect charged with hate crimes

Black church fires: Louisiana suspect charged with hate crimes

Black church fires: Louisiana suspect charged with hate crimes

Notre Dame was partially destroyed in the fire [Photo: AP] Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old son of a Louisiana sheriff's deputy, was arrested in connection with the USA church fires and faces hate crime charges.

In his testimony for prosecutors, Browning outlined a litany of evidence that he said tied Matthews to the torching of the three black churches over 10 days.

The GoFundMe campaign has a goal of $1.8 million.

"It's a blessing, truly a blessing", the Rev. Freddie Jack, president of the Seventh District Missionary Baptist Association, about the campaign to collect funds for the Black churches.

The fires in St. Landry Parish, near Lafayette, began March 26 when St. Mary Baptist Church was set ablaze.

Matthews, who had no previous criminal record, was arrested Wednesday on three charges of arson of a religious building. He also objected to suggestions that the house near one of the churches was intentionally set on fire, putting the residents' lives in danger. Two days later, a third church was torched-the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas.

Prosecutors have filed new hate crime charges against a white man accused of burning down three African-American churches in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

All three fires were started with gasoline and occurred around Opelousas, about 60 miles (100km) west of the state capital of Baton Rouge.

"Notre Dame will be made whole, so should these holy places", Philip Feldman wrote. Each was more than 100 years old.

The donations came on the heels of an announcement Tuesday that Notre Dame has three of France's wealthiest families spearheading fundraising for the historic site.

"It's awful what happened to Notre Dame". When this particular string of crimes was investigated, it led to a group of young men who committed crimes against Black churches.

"It's a tragedy when black churches + mosques are bombed, burned or vandalized, but of course the world pays more attention to an 800-year-old architectural masterpiece in the heart of a city everyone visits!"

'Mike Pence immediately tweeted about the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire, ' said user Denizcan James.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral following a major fire in Paris, alongside one of the historically black churches burned in Louisiana. He was arrested Wednesday on three charges of arson of a religious building.

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

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