Published July 19, 2016
Police on Tuesday were investigating what may have led to the firebombing of an unoccupied squad car early Sunday morning in front of a Florida mosque, after a note was found nearby voicing support for Black Lives Matter.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that the vehicle was completely destroyed. Police Chief Mike Chitwood told the paper that a note was found at the scene that read, “Black Lives Matter A. Sterling P. Castile (expletive) the police.”
The car was being used as a "ghost car" to deter crime in the area near the Islamic Center of Daytona Beach.
Authorities believe a Molotov cocktail was used in the attack. Fire crews responded and put the fire out. No one was hurt.
Police are looking over surveillance video and have not yet concluded that the firebombing was a result of anti-police protesters.
“I really do believe in my heart of hearts that we have a really great rapport with our community overall. They know that if there’s a problem, they can come and talk to us,” Chitwood said.
The burning comes amid rising tension nationwide following the police shootings that killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Also Sunday, a gunman shot six law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, killing three of them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.