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FBI Investigates Los Angeles Baptist Church Explosion Accused of Hate Speech | The State

FBI investigates explosion at Los Angeles Baptist church accused of hate speech

The gay community has been attacked by the church located in El Monte.

David McNew / Getty Images

Authorities are investigating an act of vandalism, in addition to a explosion that occurred this Saturday in a controversial church in El Monte, a city east of Los Angeles.

“The FBI went to the police after an IED attack [un dispositivo de explosión improvisado] placed in First Works Baptist church, ”said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles.

She said that at the beginning of the investigation the agents were processing the scene and that although the device caused damage to the site, no injuries were reported.

For its part, a group planning a protest against the ideological positions of the First Works Baptist Church released a statement condemning the attack.

“We are surprised by what happened… Our movement intends to shed light and warn about the hateful rhetoric taught by this group [la iglesia]”, indicated in his Instagram account “Keep El Monte Friendly” (Keep El Monte friendly).

“We understand that what they preach can make many people angry. However, we will never promote or motivate violence or acts that may hurt others, ”the message was added.

The movement chose to cancel its demonstration agreed for this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. “We want everyone to stay away from the scene and let the authorities continue investigating,” they said.

El Monte police officers heard an explosion and decided to call the Sheriff and the FBI, after learning of the incident.

After that, firefighters and paramedics came at 1:13 a.m. to the site, located on Tyler Avenue, after receiving reports of smoke coming out of the building.

“When we arrived we saw that apparently the walls of the church had been vandalized [con grafitti] and that the windows were blown out by the explosion, ”Lt. Christopher Cano said.

Why the protests?

The church, led by Pastor Bruce Mejía, has been the focus of protests by the community in recent weeks after some people believe that a speech against the LGBTQ community is being promoted in the place.

Mejía has mentioned this doctrine since the church opened three years ago, where it condemns same-sex relationships, SoCalNews said.

“Violence is never an answer, even when [de por medio] there is a hate speech ”, Los Angeles supervisor Hilda Solís wrote on her Twitter.

“Although we do not yet know the real reason, I am aware of the anti-LGBTQ and misogynistic sermons given by the pastor of First Works Baptist Church… My office has already made these concerns known to the county Human Rights Commission, that has been in contact with the city of El Monte to alleviate the tension in this situation ”.

If you have information on the case, call the LA FBI at 1 (310) 477-6565 or visit the website: fbi.tips.gov.


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