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Teen Arrested for Planning Attack on African American Congregation in Georgia

11-21-2019
Image Credit: ABC News
Image Credit: ABC News

A 16-year-old white teenage girl was arrested in Gainesville, Georgia after plotting to attack the members of a historically black church.

According to Gainesville Police, the teen-targeted Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and planned to hurt multiple people. 

Last week, students at the local high school told counselors that the girl's notebook contained detailed plans to commit murder at the church.

The teen was taken into custody after school administration officials confirmed the threat.

"Our investigation indicated the church was targeted by the juvenile based on the racial demographics of the church members. The juvenile was charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder and was transported to the Regional Youth Detention Center in Gainesville," Police Chief Jay Parrish wrote in a tweet.

Police did not release information on how the teen planned to perform the act, but she was known to collect knives, Atlanta Local News reports.

"While we are very concerned about this incident, we are not surprised," Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said.

"Hate crimes and domestic terrorism have been on the rise for many years, but it is unfortunate we cannot have this perpetrator prosecuted on hate crimes in Georgia because there is no law on the books to address it," he explained. 

Another church member said they have spoken to police about adding extra security. 

"It's sad that there is still hatred in the world," Shana Ramsey said.

"We hold steady to our faith. And we will be here on Sunday morning to worship with our fellow members and to get our praise on with the Lord," she concluded.

Jeremy Williams, the school superintendent said the teen's behavior does not represent Gainesville or their beliefs, according to CNN.

"As a school system that celebrates our diversity, we are beyond stunned with the recent development. However, we are extremely proud of our students notifying school administration of a possible off-campus threat," he noted. 

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