Confederate battle flags were stealthily placed on the grounds of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s church, and authorities said Thursday they were looking for two white males who were recorded on surveillance camera leaving the banners behind.
Atlanta police Chief George Turner said his agency was working with federal authorities and they have not determined what charges might be levied. Turner said they have not ruled out a hate crime.
The Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at King’s home church Ebenezer Baptist, called it a “terroristic threat.”
“It is a hateful act,” he said. “I view it as an effort to intimidate us in some way, and we will not be intimidated.”
It was the latest volley in the fight over the Confederate flag and Civil War-era monuments ever since a white gunman was accused of killing nine black church members in South Carolina. Statues of the Confederacy have been vandalized around the South, and state governments in South Carolina and Alabama have removed battle flags entirely from Capitol grounds.