Civil rights leaders were outraged after surveillance cameras caught two white males laying Confederate battle flags on the ground near the Atlanta church made famous by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., but even if the individuals are identified, they are unlikely to face any charges at all.
The incident comes after nine Black church members were gunned down by self-professed White supremacist Dylann Roof earlier this month at Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina. Rev. Raphael Warnock, Ebenezer’s pastor, said “We will not be intimidated” at a press conference.
On Thursday, Confederate flags were discovered on the grounds of the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Martin Luther King Jr.
A Confederate battle flag flies at the grave of Evans Bruner, a soldier in the Confederate States Army in the U.S. Civil War, in Boone Hill Cemetery in Summerville, South Carolina, June 22, 2015.
Police said four flags were found lying on the church property in the 400 block of Auburn Avenue. National Historic Site Visitor Center, police said Thursday morning.
As you may know, Ebenezer Baptist Church is where the Rev.
Staff were disturbed when they came across the flags at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, according to the Reverend Shannon Jones.
Atlanta police Chief George Turner said his department was investigating the possibility that the Ebenezer church vandalism was a hate crime. Warnock says the hateful act only strengthens their resolve, and he promises the city would remain peaceful.
A pastor is calling the placing of Confederate flags near the Martin Luther King Jr. There were no more details about the suspects but Turner said the video would be released to the public soon.
Tracey Jackson, a 45-year-old from Atlanta who lives near the historic church, said: “This breaks my heart”. National Historic Site, a symbol of the American civil rights movement.
Warnock said the incident should “get the attention of not only black, but freedom loving people”.
“It is clearly a kind of statement we would character as a terrorist threat”, he added.
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“Across the South, her citizens see these continued attacks [on Confederate symbols] as an organized attempt to eradicate our history and heritage, and we are ready to stand and defend the honor of our Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country”, writes Grayson Jennings on the Virginia Flaggers’ blog.