Police arrest suspect in 7 black church fires – and it turns out he’s not a white racist

David Lopez JacksonWhen historically black churches began going up in smoke this month there was wide spread speculation of racial hate crimes.

That conclusion seems to have been dispelled with the arrest of 35-year-old David Lopez Jackson, a black man with an extensive criminal history, in connection with the seven arsons between Oct. 8 and Oct. 22.

Many were quick to jump on the hate crime bandwagon before any of the facts were known now may have egg on their collective faces.

Now that Jackson has been arrested and, so far, charged with two counts of arson it will be interesting to monitor how those same voices react.

Jackson has been linked by forensic evidence to one of the church fires while video caught images of his vehicle near the scene of another, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Police Chief Sam Dotson said authorities were still determining a motive but said Jackson is also a suspect in the other 5 church fires.

To their credit, church leaders did not jump to the conclusion of racist motivation for the fires and one told the Post-Dispatch that he was relieved an arrest had been made.

“I feel like it’s an answer to prayer. The whole metropolitan area can breathe a sigh of relief. We’re very thankful that the fires didn’t hurt anyone physically. Everyone will be very interested in finding out the motivation,” Rev. Roderick K. Burton, of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church told the Post-Dispatch.

While Jackson is still only a suspect, many on social media mocked those who were quick to call the arsons racially motivated.


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