A fire at a Columbia, Missouri Planned Parenthood is being investigated as a possible hate crime. The FBI is handling the investigation and is offering $10,000 to anyone with information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect.
The Planned Parenthood fire was intentionally set in the early morning of Sunday, February 10th.
At 4:00 AM on Sunday morning, a person in dark clothes was spotted on camera heading into the clinic. By the time the person leaves the clinic, smoke can be seen on the videotape. Thankfully no one was inside the building when the fire was lit. The building’s sprinkler system put the fire out before the fire department arrived.
The setting of the fire has resulted in the FBI being brought on to investigate. Attempting to destroy a clinic that provides reproductive health services is a federal civil rights crime under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
The FBI is quite certain that the attack was intended to interrupt the reproductive services offered by Planned Parenthood. In fact, the attack resulted in the clinic having to be shut down for the week, and patients have had to reschedule appointments.
An attack of this nature should also be viewed through the lens of potentially being a hate crime, according to the FBI. Such attacks are considered to be hate crimes against women, as Planned Parenthood provides numerous life-saving and beneficial reproductive services.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of the criminal responsible for the attack should contact the FBI. The FBI has promised a reward of $10,000 for anyone able to provide information that results in an arrest and conviction of the culprit.
At the time of writing, nothing is known of the arsonist’s identity. The footage that captured them gives no identifying details, other than their build and height.