Black residents of Huntsville, Alabama were rattled by a video in which white men threatened to kill African Americans in their city.
Police took two men into custody on Saturday night who appeared in the racist video that was posted on social media, AL.com reported. But shortly after the arrests, the authorities released them.
“No charges are being filed at this time,” said Huntsville police Lt. Michael Johnson. “Neither person was armed or bore a real, viable threat.”
In the video, the men say they’re driving their truck through Huntsville, “ready to shoot some f—ing ni—ers.”
Local authorities are consulting with prosecutors and federal investigators to determine if charges are appropriate in this case—meaning there’s a possibility they’ll be charged with a crime. But that’s no consolation to Black residents.
“Me and my kid used the overpass over here to walk. My security alert system went off. I feel uneasy about walking outside my house right now,” Huntsville resident Danyel Hall told WAAY-TV.
Hall and her neighbors don’t know if the video was a bad joke. “[The man who appeared on camera] needs to know that is a serious concern for all of us out here. We are trying to live like anybody else,” she added.
Others in the community are not taking any chances.
“If they come back this way, they’re going to pick them up in a pine box,” another resident, Donna Summers, told the TV station, adding that folks of all races in her community get along well. “I’m going to tell you straight. We’re not going to put up with that in this neighborhood.”
Summers and her neighbors are preparing to fight back, if necessary. “We all went and got our guns sitting out here waiting on them,” said the grandmother.