Police investigating hate crime incident at Blue Springs church

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The Blue Springs Police Department is investigating a hate crime at a local church.

Over the weekend someone painted the N-word on Capernaum Missionary Baptist Church.

“My reaction was it wasn’t really surprised,” Karl Jefferson, Pastor of Capernaum Missionary Baptist Church said. “It was like these are times that we’re in.”

For 27 years, the church has sat in the heart of Blue Springs and during those 27 years, Jefferson said no one has ever bothered the faith community until this past Sunday.

“A member of mine happened to be up early and taking her mother to her church and happened to drive by and saw the painting on the church,” Jefferson said.

Someone painted the N-word on the back of the church building with a cross and circle under it.

Jefferson said the racial slur didn’t ruin Sunday worship and was repainted by the time church started but said the racist act is an eye-opener to the community.

“I think sometimes things happen at a distance and we can kind of sweep it under a rug, but when it happens close to home in our neighborhood and community is when people start paying attention to it to the most,” Jefferson said.

Blue Springs Police said it is actively investigating who the suspect or suspects may be and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office is considering this a hate crime.

“I feel like an attack on the church is an attack on all of us, but what the racist vandals don’t understand is that you can’t stop the spread of the gospel,” friend Byron Craddolph said.

Despite the racial acts, Henderson said the community’s response has been overwhelmingly good.

“The response has been whatever we need,” Jefferson said. “People have been willing to come out and help and do whatever they can to take care of the facility.”

The church doesn’t have security cameras installed, but Jefferson said it’s something they’re looking into.

This makes it harder for police to find the suspect or suspects, so they are asking for the community to speak up if someone knows anything.

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