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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Martin Luther King Jr.

Chief praises police action in MLK bomb

Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick on Wednesday praised Sgts. Jason Hartman and Eric Olsen for their decisions to reroute the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade after a sophisticated bomb was found along the original route.

“We are trying to have a national conversation to learn to say, ‘See something, say something,’ ” said Kirkpatrick, pictured above with Olsen. “I’d like to get all of our residents to

put that phrase into their thinking. We don’t want to be a city paralyzed by fear, but we must be a community that is mindful.”

Olsen, who was managing the traffic around the MLK march, said Hartman (right) called him at 9:37 a.m. Monday and told him about the backpack, which was discovered by three workers from the Spokane Public Facilities District.

Without enough time to determine what was inside, the sergeants decided to change the route of the march.

“We always assume the worst,” Olsen said on Wednesday. “But when I found out it was a viable device, I was both scared and relieved. I was scared that someone would do that but relieved that it was resolved. I felt very fortunate … just from the chaos and devastation it would have caused.”

The FBI said on Wednesday that hunt for the person who left the bomb will focus on two aspects: forensics and the region’s violent history with white supremacists.

Read Thomas Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Jan 18: FBI says backpack on Spokane parade route was bomb

FBI: MLK bomb is ‘domestic terrorism’

 

In what federal authorities are calling an act of “domestic terrorism,” a bomb capable of killing multiple people was discovered along the route of Spokane's martin Luther King, Jr., parade on Monday.

The device was found in a Swiss Army-brand backpack by Spokane city employees, who alerted authorities in time to re-route the annual Unity March.

A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

“It definitely was, by all early analysis, a viable device that was very lethal and had the potential to inflict multiple casualties,” said Frank Harrill, the special agent in charge of the Spokane FBI office. “Clearly, the timing and placement of a device – secreted in a backpack – with the Martin Luther King parade is not coincidental. We are doing everything humanly possible to identify the individuals or individual who constructed and placed this device.”  

The backpack and clothing found inside are pictured above.

Sources say the bomb was equipped to detonate by a remote device, such as a car remote or a garage door opener. The bomb apparently also had its own shrapnel that could have caused significant injuries to anyone near the blast.

Read Thomas Clouse's story here.

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