Reconvene the National Church Arson Task Force
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In June 1996, the National Church Arson Task Force ("NCATF" or "Task Force") successfully coordinated the efforts of Federal, state and local law enforcement officials in the battle against church arsons. The Task Force has investigated arsons dating back to January 1995, in order fully to assess and address the problem. With the assistance of Congress, which provided additional resources and enacted the Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996, the NCATF brought together the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Civil Rights Division and other Department of Justice prosecutors, United States Attorney's offices, local prosecutors, victim/witness coordinators, Community Relations Service (CRS) conciliators and other Federal, state and local law enforcement officials.
Since the Hate Crime Massacre at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC there have been a rash of Church Fires, including the Historic Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Greeleyville, which was previously burned admittedly by KKK members in 1996.
College Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, which caught fire on 22 June. The fire department said the cause of the fire was deliberate.
God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia, which was set alight on 23 June. Investigators are treating it as arson.
Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was completely destroyed on 24 June in an incident fire investigators are treating as arson.
Glover Grove Baptist Church in Warrenville, South Carolina, which was set ablaze on 26 June. Investigators say the cause is so far “undetermined”.
The Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness Church in Tallahassee, Florida, also burned to the ground last week, but fire officials said the cause was thought to have been an electrical fault.
Fruitland Presbyterian Church in Gibson County, Tennessee, on 24 June, may have been caused by a lightning strike, but an investigation is ongoing.
Our Churches are under attack again, the African-American Community is under attack, and America is under attack.
We are asking you, Mr. President, to reconvene the National Church Arson Task Force to charge federal authorities to investigate and prevent this disturbing trend 'coincidentally' following the hate crime at Mother Emanuel.
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