Police in Douglasville, Georgia, were investigating an incident that occurred Saturday where a group of trucks, each bearing Confederate flags, drove by the birthday party of a black child. The trucks’ passengers were reportedly armed and using racial epithets, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The encounter was recorded in at least two cell phone videos.
The Douglasville Police Department said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that it had been alerted to the trucks and that its officers initially followed them but eventually stopped. Later, the police were called to an area where an argument between members of the convoy and people from the birthday party had grown heated. Police said it was examining the video footage for possible criminal activity.
“This is a child’s birthday party,” a female voice can be heard calling in the footage as the trucks rolled by. Another female voice cried, “That is a threat!” One woman appeared to be furious, screaming unintelligibly and stomping her feet at one point.
The video showed at least four trucks, each bearing multiple Confederate flags and American flags. Much of the audio is unclear, but in one of the videos, the N-word is audible, and one woman said that the passengers had threatened to “kill y’all [N-word],” the Atlanta paper reported. One of the videos can be viewed here:
“Officers on scene were given conflicting statements as to what led up to the confrontation,” the police statement said. “Officers identified all involved and arrested one person that was a passenger in the convoy of trucks on unrelated charges.”
In December, police in Douglasville were accused of racial profiling when an officer claimed that he had been fired twice for protesting racial profiling, including “unlawful traffic stops, unlawful searches of individuals,” local channel CBS46 reported. The officer also stated that Douglasville police’s information technology department gave officers racist login names, such as one that meant “black pig.” At the time, the department said it had 92 officers, 14 of whom were African-American and five Hispanic.
Georgia has 28 active hate groups, including neo-Nazi, racist skinhead, and white nationalist groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2007, Douglasville police arrested five members of a group of racist skinheads who attacked someone in a bar, the Anti-Defamation League reported. The men wore jackets with swastikas and Confederate flags when they were arrested, and two pairs of bloodied brass knuckles were later found at the scene of the crime.