On Wednesday, June 3, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department sent out a press release announcing that an arsonist or arsonists had set fire to the Guilford County Courthouse at 201 S. Eugene St. in downtown Greensboro.

According to the release, the fire was started about 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 31.

Luckily, emergency responders were able to contain and extinguish the fire in time, but now law enforcement agencies including the Sheriff’s Department are working hard to track down the person or persons who committed the arson.  

The department is hoping someone saw something that will help officers in that effort and is asking anyone with information regarding the crime or the identity of the perpetrator to call 336-641-5969 and ask for Detective Robertson.   Those who know something can also call Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000 if they prefer. All calls to Crime Stoppers are completely anonymous.

Callers might want their identity known in this case because there’s a cash reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest or an indictment of whoever set the fire.

In the past week, downtown Greensboro – like many sites across the country – has seen protests, rioting, looting, vandalism and arson in response to the death of George Floyd, the black man in Minneapolis who died under the knee of a white police officer.

In some cases, the destructive actions have been leveled against places related to law enforcement and the justice system. However, in most cases the vandalism is geared toward businesses or other random targets that simply happen to be in a downtown area or near some other site of a riot. As one example of the senselessness and absurdity of the destruction, one target in downtown Greensboro this past weekend was the International Civil Rights Center and Museum – an institution that honors the history of the struggle of black people to obtain justice.