Arrests In Alabama Church Fires
The police arrested three college students today in their ongoing investigation of ten church fires in Alabama. The CNN story is here. Two of the students attend Birmingham Southern College, one of Alabama’s elite liberal arts colleges. (For those readers who dismiss the college because they have never heard of it, and it’s in Alabama, think Kenyon or Haverford. Some of my best students at Alabama Law attended BSC.) The third attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham (known locally as UAB, and in college sports polls as Ala – Birmingham.)
I’m waiting to understand the logic, or even the illogic, of their actions. They torched five predominately white Baptist congregations, and five predominately African-American ones. It’s hard to see this as a mere prank but no easier to understand as a political attack. Somehow I suspect that one or more of these defendants will be blaming alcohol or drugs.
Nobody needed this string of fires, but they resonate specially in Alabama. Lets hope that the good news – the difference between now and then – is that these fires were merely pointless destruction, and not intended as a meaningful message to anyone at all.
UPDATE: The complaint in this case is available here.