The Rev. Nathaniel Moody says he’s disappointed more than anything after threatening racist rants were left on his church’s answering machine.
Now, he says, his church – Brown Hutcherson Ministries – has to be on alert. The caller, using a racial slur, threatened to kill the first black person he saw at the church or Brown Funeral Home, across the street, he said.
“What he doesn’t understand is, when you’re calling this church or the funeral home, it’s almost like calling every black church in the city,” Moody told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press on Monday, Nov. 19.
“All black churches are affected. They feel threatened by this, because of what’s taking place across America. We had senior citizens stay home (Sunday, wondering): ‘Is my church next?'”
Grand Rapids police say Todd Jamison, 26, of Grand Rapids, confessed to making threats to the church and funeral home.
He is charged with ethnic intimidation, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of stalking and malicious use of a telephone.
Police tracked down the suspect after learning that two trespassers had been under the awning at the funeral home on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and were asked to leave. After a short confrontation, the two left.
A little later, the funeral home and church “began receiving threatening phone messages laced with racial slurs,” police said.
The messages – “threatening and ethnically intimidating in nature,” police said – continued into the next morning when police were called. Police detectives and road patrol officers determined that Jamison was the suspect.
He was arrested then was arraigned Friday, Nov. 16, in Grand Rapids District Court. He was released from Kent County Jail that night after posting $12,000 bond.
Moody said the calls were made to the answering service for the funeral home he helps run across the street and left on the answering machine at the church.
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Source: Michigan Live