“Vote Trump” painted on wall of fire-damaged black church

The fire is being investigated as a hate crime

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GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Authorities say a fire has partially damaged a black church in Mississippi, and television images show “Vote Trump” spray-painted on an outside wall.

Fire Chief Ruben Brown tells The Associated Press that firefighters found flames and smoke pouring from the sanctuary of the Hopewell M.B Church just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

He says the sanctuary sustained heavy damage, while the kitchen and pastor’s office received water and smoke damage. He says investigators don’t know yet if it is a case of arson.

Brown says there was also a political message spray-painted on the side of the church, but would not say what the message said.

“Vote Trump” is clearly visible in images of the church broadcast on television sites.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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