New Details Of NAACP Bombing In Colorado Revealed By FBI In Press Conference
Did you hear about what happened in Colorado on Tuesday? It's been three days since a yet-unknown person set off a bomb outside the NAACP building in Colorado Springs, setting off a whirlwind of speculation and a federal investigation. And Friday afternoon, we finally got some information, however scarce: The FBI released new details on the NAACP bombing in a press conference, going so far as to give a general description of the suspect.
So, here's what we know about this whole case so far. According to the FBI, which has been investigating the incident due to its possible domestic terrorism implications, the bombing was intentional and was meant to cause far more damage than it succeeded in doing. Investigators said that a small, "unsophisticated" device exploded next to the NAACP's offices at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, leaving scorch marks on the wall, as well as a telling sign: The bomb had been next to a can of gas.
Mercifully, it didn't go off — a testament to that aforementioned unsophistication, perhaps — and nobody was hurt. The presence of the gas can, however, makes the magnitude of the attempt obvious. Friday, based on witness accounts, gave some more details. The truck was a pre-2000 model with a dark-colored bed liner, side paneling, an obscured or missing license plate, and an open tailgate. They also released a sketch of the man.
A pivotal question that's loomed large in all this is whether the bombing was aimed at the NAACP for a specific reason — the most obvious answer on everyone's mind being a racist act of violence. On Thursday, FBI spokesperson Amy Sanders made it clear to the Los Angeles Times that multiple possibilities were still being considered.
It has also not yet been determined if the motive was a hate crime, domestic terrorism, a personal act of violence against a specific individual, or other motive as there are numerous individuals and entities tied to the building in the vicinity of the explosion.
That trend continued in the press conference Friday. FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle declined to offer specific motivations for the bombing, even as he acknowledged the understandable suspicions people have, saying "I'm not going to be naive, I know what the NAACP means to some extremists in this country." Ravenelle also denied that the Colorado Springs chapter had been the subject of several threats in the past, but mentioned they were looking into an "upset" person who'd visited the office weeks earlier.
All in all, this story seems still in the early going. At this point, we can all only hope that someone will be apprehended for this sooner rather than later — as civil rights hero and Georgia congressman John Lewis tweeted of the bombing, "It reminds me of another period. These stories cannot be swept under the rug."