The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:00 am

Racial slurs interrupt virtual funeral

Hackers disrupt event for late civil rights icon

Associated Press

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Police Department is investigating after a virtual funeral for civil rights icon and city leader Calvin Coolidge Goode was interrupted Tuesday by hackers yelling racist slurs.

“The Phoenix Police Department has been made aware of the incident and after speaking with the FBI, the department will be the lead investigative agency,” spokeswoman Maggie Cox said in an email.

“This type of language and disruption is unacceptable and only divides our community. We are committed to working with our community in identifying the person(s) responsible for this act.”

Mayor Kate Gallego on Twitter condemned the comments and said the city does not tolerate hate crimes.

“I condemn the racists who disrupted Vice Mayor Goode's funeral services. This is horrific and does not represent the values & commitment of our community,” Gallego said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also condemned the incident.

“Former councilman Calvin Goode was a civil rights leader who served with honor and distinction. The racist and abhorrent remarks made during his funeral service today are wrong and I condemn them,” Ducey said on Twitter.

Goode died Dec. 23 from an illness not related to COVID-19. He was 93.

Goode was the second Black councilmember for the city of Phoenix and the longest-tenured elected official in its history, serving on the Phoenix City Council from Jan. 2, 1972, until Jan. 3, 1994, including as vice mayor in 1974 and 1984.

Gallego was speaking on the legacy Goode had left in Phoenix, when a man was heard spewing slurs over her comments about a half hour into the virtual service, KTAR-TV reported.

The Historic Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church hosted the stream on its Facebook page, with family members, city officials and friends speaking through Zoom. The church resumed the memorial in a new stream.

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