DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A police cruiser in Florida was set on fire and a note referencing the Black Lives Matter movement was found nearby.
According to a statement from Daytona Beach Police, dispatch received a call of a vehicle fire at 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Responding officers found a marked Daytona Beach police car fully engulfed in flames in front of the Islamic Center of Daytona Beach.
The car was being used as a “ghost car” to deter crime in the area.
Fire crews responded and put the fire out. No one was injured.
Investigators found a note that said “Black Lives Matter. A. Sterling P. Castile,” and referred to police using an expletive. It’s unclear exactly where the note was found.
The burning comes amid rising tension nationwide following the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Also Sunday, a gunman shot and killed three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge.
Police Chief Mike Chitwood told The Daytona Beach News-Journal that he thinks someone firebombed the police cruiser with a Molotov cocktail, causing more than $20,000 in damages. The State Fire Marshal’s Office said in a release that it is now investigating the incident “as it appears to be arson,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Epoch Times contributed to this report, adding quotes.