A white teenager has been arrested over plans to massacre a predominantly black church in Georgia.
But for the timely intervention of authority, police said this would have probably been another instance like the Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, who killed nine black parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
According to the Gainesville Police, the teen allegedly had a notebook detailing her plans to kill worshippers at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
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“Our investigation indicated the church was targeted by the juvenile based on the racial demographic of the church members.
“Students, school administrators and law officers worked together to thwart a “potentially horrific incident,” Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish said in a statement.
The 16-year-old’s name has not been disclosed and details of the alleged plot haven’t been released either. But, Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said police uncovered “disturbing information” and drawings that shows the plot had been planned for at least two weeks.
The plot came to the attention of the police when Gainesville High School students told administrators the 16-year-old kept a notebook detailing her plans to kill worshippers at the church, according to the parish.
“It just grieves my spirit on a number of different levels, one that the intentions of this young person were so calculated to do great harm against people who just simply had no knowledge of such a plot,” director of the Newtown Florist Club Rev. Rose Johnson Mackey, said.
“We’re just very pleased that our police department acted so swiftly, and the police department in conjunction with our school administrators were just on top of the situation,” Mackey said.
The teen collected knives and even visited the church in a bid to execute the massacre, police said.
Gainesville Police Chief says 16 yr old girl collected knives and planned attack on Bethel AME Church. Cops say she had gone to church once , but no one was there . She is in custody charged as juvenile . @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/85XAkY3pV4— Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) November 19, 2019
Surprised at the news, presiding prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District for the AME Church, Bishop Reginald Jackson said: “Hate crimes and domestic terrorism have been on the rise for many years.”
“But it’s unfortunate we can’t have this perpetrator prosecuted on hate crimes in Georgia because there is no law on the books to address it.”
Apparently, in Georgia there is no hate crimes law. The girl is charged with criminal attempt to commit murder and she is being held in a youth detention center in Gainesville.
Rev. Dr Michelle Rizer-Pool, who leads the congregation at Bethel AME, said she was shocked when notified by police about the alleged attempt.
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