Saturday, February 18, 2017

Suspect pleads not guilty for mosque vandalism

The Davis Islamic Center
A WOMAN was arrested Tuesday and charged with hate enhanced crimes for vandalizing a mosque in Davis, California and tying strips of bacon at the entrances.

Lauren Kirk-Coeho, 30, pleaded not guilty Feb. 17.

Kirk-Coehlo, was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of breaking six of the Davis mosque’s windows, damaging several bicycles at the mosque and wrapping pork around the handle of one of the mosque’s exterior doors, Davis police said. Muslims are forbidden to eat or touch pork.

She will be arraigned March 6. If convicted, she could face up to six years in prison.

A search of Kirk-Coeho's computer found searches of white supremacist websites and a tweet expressing her admiration of Dylann Roof, who killed African/American churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Five days after the crime, hundreds of people gathered to demonstrate their support for the Muslim community, and the Islamic Center received more than $22,000 in financial contributions have been used to repair the damaged windows, upgrade the center’s security system and support outreach efforts such as sending local students on educational tours of UC Davis and its medical school.

“This incident showed the beautiful good will of Americans and that our communities stand united,” added Amr Zedan, the Davis Islamic Center’s president. “As a Muslim community we are forgiving and merciful, but we hope that the perpetrator has the chance to reflect upon her actions and the grief she caused our community.”

ate incidents against Muslims have increased dramatically since the presidential campaign and rose again after Donald Trump won the Nov. 8 election, according to reports from the FBI and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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