Police have arrested a suspect in Morristown, New Jersey for allegedly vandalizing five different predominantly African-American churches.
Zuri C. Towns, who is black himself, was arrested Sunday for the vandalism and charged with several counts of criminal mischief. He reportedly previously attended one of the churches he vandalized.
According to NJ.com, Morris County police released a statement reading, “As a result of the investigation, no evidence was obtained that would indicate this was a bias incident which legally requires purpose to intimidate a person or group based upon their protected class.”
On Saturday, New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy tweeted about the incidents:
Disgusted by reported vandalism of African-American churches across Morristown. These cowardly acts will not shake our faith. They will renew our determination to come together as one NJ. -PM
— Phil Murphy (@PhilMurphyNJ) November 26, 2017
Since the perpetrator was revealed, Murphy has not tweeted about the issue again.
This news comes after a number of apparent racially-motivated hate crimes have turned out to be phony. At the Air Force Academy in Colorado, racist messages written on a whiteboard were found to have been posted by the same individual who reported them in the first place. (RELATED: HATE HOAX: Air Force Academy Cadet Candidate Wrote Fake Racist Messages Himself)
At a Missouri high school, graffiti reading “white lives matter” accompanied by a racial slur was revealed to have been written by a “non-white” student. (RELATED: HATE HOAX: Racist Graffiti At High School Was Written By ‘Non-White’ Student)