Arrest made in ‘Vote Trump’ burning of Mississippi black church

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Photo of church: Angie Quezada, Delta Daily News; Photo of McClinton: Mississippi Department of Public Safety

GREENVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi authorities have made an arrest in the burning of an African-American church spray-painted with the words, “Vote Trump.”

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, who is African-American, is charged with first-degree arson of a place of worship.

McClinton was arrested Wednesday. Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned and vandalized Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election.

It was not immediately clear whether McClinton is represented by an attorney.

Greenville is a Mississippi River port city of about 32,100 people, and about 78 percent of its residents are African-American.

After the fire, Hopewell congregants began worshipping in a chapel at predominantly white First Baptist Church of Greenville.

Fire Chief Ruben Brown told The Associated Press the sanctuary of Hopewell M.B Church sustained heavy damage in the fire, while the kitchen and pastor’s office received water and smoke damage.

The words “Vote Trump” were also spray-painted on an outside wall of the church.