Berkeley, California police is looking for information about a woman who is seen on video attempting to set a Black church on fire.
“Watching the video, I feel it deeply,” Berkeley City Council member Ben Bartlett told KPIX. “It’s an attack on all of us, and going back in history, the fair housing act came from this neighborhood and when they were passing it, people threw bricks though their windows.”
Video footage shows the woman approached Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church on Aug. 14 and attempted to set the building on fire by throwing bricks at the window and pouring lighter fluid on the grass. The woman came back twice to attempt to get the fire to start but failed.
“By the grace of God the lighter wouldn’t take, it wouldn’t come on full force and nothing was being lit up,” lead pastor Kevin Craddock II told the news station.
“It was very very painful. We couldn’t believe that this was happening,” he told KPIX. The woman’s attempt took seven minutes, including the time she spent leaving and returning to the building to try one more tome.
Craddock says the incident was racially motivated. “There’s no way you don’t know what you’re doing. You know this is an African American church and you know what lighting a fire to an African American church has been through the history,” he said.
Now police are asking anyone with information about the woman or the arson attempt to reach out to authorities. Craddock added he wants to help the woman.
“We definitely need to know who this young lady is. We want to help her and I believe that you can live in harmony when they are in harmony,” Craddock said.
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