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Suspect arrested for ‘suspicious’ fires at Black churches

Louisiana

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 4/11/2019, 5:34 p.m.
A man arrested in connection with fires at three historically Black Louisiana churches was identified as..

A man arrested in connection with fires at three historically Black Louisiana churches was identified as Holden Matthews, 21, said Gov. John Bel Edwards, reports CNN. Edwards said the fires were a reminder of “a very dark past of intimidation and fear. I don’t know what this young man’s motive, I don’t know what was in his heart ... but it cannot be justified,” Edwards said. The man arrested in connection with the fires is a law enforcement official’s son, according to local reports. Officials with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Wednesday that a 21-year old man from St. Landry Parish was arrested in connection with the fires. St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre burned on March 26, followed by Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas on April 2 and two days later, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in the same town. The fires are believed to have been intentionally set, a local elected official said Tuesday.