In the early hours of Thursday, two white males were caught on video placing four Confederate flags around the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Ebenezer is the church where King served as pastor during the 1960s civil rights movement, and local and federal authorities are looking into the incident.
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner spoke at a conference this morning, telling CBS 46 that they were analyzing physical evidence, and deciding what charges, including hate crimes, might be issued. FBI Special Agent Steve Emmett said in an email that he would be helping the police “to better determine if any specific threats were received.”
King’s family had a long historical relationship with the Auburn Avenue church, which was a prominent hub of activity throughout his life before it became his gravesite. Rev. Raphael Warnock denounced the act as a message of hate, not heritage, and called it a “sickening” follow-up to the controversy the flag generated ever since the Charleston Shooting.
“To place a Confederate flag on our campus is a political statement,” Warnock added. “When we are afraid, when we are concerned, church is where we go. We need to get together now more than ever.”
You can watch the police conference here:
[h/t NBC News]
[Image via wikimedia]
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