In my recent memory, police departments have seemingly coddled individuals accused of committing acts of violence against black people. After Dylann Roof gunned down nine black church members officers infamously took him to Burger King because he said he was hungry, and thats just the most recent act. History is filled with lynchings going unprosecuted, and the actions of clueless, careless or racist police officers can be included in that grisly tally as well.
So, imagine the surprise of this writer, as well as thousands of others, when the Austin Police Department made history in when speaking on serial Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt. Initially, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley called Conditt a challenged you man and most of expected that narrative to remain unchanged. But, it did not.
When I look at what he did to our community, the police chief said Thursday, I actually agree now that he was a domestic terrorist.
Manleys change of mind came about during a panel discussion to investigate the impact the bombings had on the city of Austin, saying that his initial description of the then-suspect was out of cautious and a desire to stay focused on the investigation.
Knowing that it might end up in a legal system at some point, I was being very specific on legal definitions that exist under federal law, Manley said, according to a recording of the discussion by KUT. I was so focused on putting a stop to it and making sure we did it in a way that allowed us to handle the suspect or suspects in a court system in the future.
Despite the change of heart from the Austin police chief, there are plenty who believe the actions of Conduit do not constitute a domestic terrorist designation.
Some people will say its terrorism because it caused terror in that community. I dont look at it as terrorism because theres no organization behind it, Malcolm Brady, a former assistant director for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told The Washington Post last week. This is a single individual that was more than likely mentally unstable about something, so he blew things up. Hes not a terrorist.
Yeah, he’s not affiliated with a group but Black Lives Matter, a group that has never espoused or committed and acts of violence is a terrorist group? Right, tell us more.