Church Parking Lot Shooting • DOJ Hate Crime Task Force • Parking Lease Lawsuit: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Church Parking Lot Shooting • DOJ Hate Crime Task Force • Parking Lease Lawsuit: News Roundup
Image: Martin Sanchez / Unsplash

Kentucky Church Security Cameras Record Parking Lot Shooting. “Louisville Police continue to investigate a shooting that happened Saturday night . . . Security cameras at the Church of Truth . . . captured the moment when the victim's car crashed into senior pastor Edward Miller’s parked car outside. In the video, muzzle flashes are visible as another car drives up, fires shots toward the crashed vehicle, and then speeds away. Miller says churchgoers emerged from the building to a grisly sight. . . . Police said Monday the man remains alive, but did not give an update on his condition. There are no suspects in the case” (“Parkland shooting captured by church security cameras,” WLKY).

According to attorney Frank Sommerville, most active-shooter situations at churches are “not just a random act of violence” but rather disputes that end up unfolding at the church. Learn more about protecting your church in such instances with this download.

New Justice Department Task Force to Focus on Hate Crimes. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions provided an update on the Justice Department's new crime reduction task force Wednesday, including new details on a subcommittee that will specifically focus on hate crime prevention. In a letter to U.S. attorneys’ offices across the country, Sessions explained that the Hate Crimes Subcommittee ‘will develop a plan to appropriately address hate crimes to better protect the rights of all Americans.’ On Monday a group of 13 Democratic senators called on the President to establish a task force on combating hate-related violence, and on Wednesday evening, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution condemning racial, religious and ethnic hate crimes. Last year the FBI released statistics showing an alarming spike in the number of reported hate crimes—in particular, a 67 percent increase in crimes against Muslim Americans” (“Hate crimes focal point of new DOJ task force,” CNN Politics).

In this Q&A, Anti-Defamation League associate director Elise Jarvis shares about preventive measures houses of worship can take against hate crimes.

New Jersey Church Faces Lawsuit from City Councilman over Parking Lease. “A councilman's legal battle with a local church and the township's Board of Adjustment has cost taxpayers more than $10,000 and counting. . . . [Councilman Jeff] Carr and eight of his neighbors who live near the [Presbyterian Church of Toms River] filed suit against the zoning board and the church in the fall of 2015, claiming the board acted ‘arbitrarily and capriciously’ when it approved the church's plan to lease 127 parking spaces to Lester Glenn Auto Group. In May 2016, Ocean County Superior Court Assignment Judge Marlene Lynch Ford ruled in favor of the church, finding that the board's decision to allow the lease was ‘supported by sufficient factual evidence,’ and was both ‘substantively and procedurally legitimate.’ In July, Carr asked an appellate panel to overturn Judge Ford's decision. He said he's heard nothing on the matter since briefs in the case were filed earlier this year. . . . The lawsuit surprised church members, who said in January that the lease agreement brings in monthly revenue for the church that will allow it to do ‘greater mission work in the community’” (“Toms River councilman suing town costs taxpayers $10K,” Asbury Park Press).

See this article for more information on what churches should know regarding their revenue-generating operations.

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This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


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