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naacp bombing

This Jan. 6, 2015 photo shows at the bottom right the char marks from a device detonated Tuesday along the northeast corner of a building occupied by a barber shop near the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP in Colorado Springs, Colo. Chapter President Henry Allen Jr. told The Colorado Springs Gazette the blast was strong enough to knock items off the walls.

In recent days, there has been steadily growing talk that the explosive device that was planted outside of the NAACP Colorado Springs office was a “hoax” because Google Maps shows that there was a stain on the wall prior to the near detonation. Really?

Local paper, The Gazette, which has been covering the story, explains:

Since the incident, about a half dozen people have questioned The Gazette as to whether the blast occurred because a picture on Google Maps from September shows a dark stain on the northeast wall of the building near where the device exploded. The darkest part of the mark, which can be seen in the Google Maps image taken before the blast, is separated by inches from the mark caused by the Jan. 6 explosion. The two stains do not have the same shape or coloration, and the FBI has stated that the wall has “minimal surface charring.”

President of the NAACP’s Colorado Springs branch Harry Allen Jr., who has been working with the FBI, confirms that the law enforcement organization told him explicitly that the new marks were caused by the explosion of an IED which did not totally detonate.

“The FBI has concluded there was minimum damage by the explosive device,” Allen said to The Gazette. “I would caution all, pro and con, not to jump to conclusions of what was there and what wasn’t there.”

But Gene Southerland, who owns the building and whose Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios, shares a space with the NAACP, was more pointed in his commentary. “I don’t have any time for this nonsense,” he said to the paper on Tuesday.

Last Friday, Thomas Ravenelle, special agent in charge from the FBI’s Denver division, confirmed at a news conference that the IED was not a sophisticated device and released a sketch of a man who is a person of interest in the investigation.

Ravenelle also said it would be “naive” not to consider that the explosion could be a hate crime because the NAACP is a national organization that has received threats in the past, reports The Gazette.

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