Colorado Springs explosion recalls violence against NAACP

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Inside a barber shop in Colorado Springs on Tuesday morning, a beautician had a correctional officer in his barber’s chair. Next door, volunteers were working at a local NAACP chapter. And outside, a homemade explosive device with a gas can strategically placed beside it detonated against their building.

A man inside said the explosion sounded like a “gunshot blast.” It rocked the walls. And it charred the building’s exterior, though there were no injuries and only minor damage. The gas can never ignited, investigators said.

It was still unclear whether America’s oldest civil rights organization was the target, but the FBI’s terrorism task force is looking into it. Most of the barber shop’s clientele are black as well, the Associated Press reported.

The FBI is searching for a suspect described as a balding white man in his 40s. He may have been driving a dirty pickup that could have a missing or covered license plate.

NAACP chapter president Henry Allen Jr. told the Colorado Springs Gazette he rushed to the site Tuesday afternoon to see whether any threats were called in prior to the explosion. He said he was hesitant to label the bombing a hate crime without more information, but said the organization “will not be deterred.”

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