Why Are the Feds in My Little Hometown?

Here’s some embarrassing news from my small hometown:

The Hartselle Police Department has teamed up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to figure out who put a Confederate flag on a church building earlier this week.

On Monday, Hartselle Police responded to Mt. Pleasant C.M.E. Church, in the 500 block of Bethel Street, in reference to a Confederate flag hanging on the church property. Officers removed a flag from the church buildin[g]. There were no other items with the flag.

Police assigned investigators to the case, who are currently looking for the person or persons who put the flag there. Police say they consider this a crime and will pursue charges.

“The City of Hartselle is a great place to live and we do not endorse or condone this type of behavior from individuals,” said Chief Ron W. Puckett. “We are a community of citizens united by our strengths in faith and love for each other. We do not threaten or treat others with disrespect and we will not tolerate desecration of our churches.”

Chief Puckett is correct in that the overwhelming majority of folks in Hartselle are very decent folks who (almost) always treat others with a great deal of respect. Aside from alcohol prohibition at the county level, it is a most wonderful place to live.

Hopefully they will find the person or people who placed a Confederate battle flag on church property and charge them with the appropriate crimes. Charge the suspect(s) with trespass, vandalism and perhaps some desecration charge which might be in the law books.

What I don’t understand, based on the information presented so far, is why the FBI should be involved. It seems to be a local matter that local police should be able to handle. In the meantime, there are much more serious crimes (i.e. kidnapping, corruption on Wall Street — or DC for that matter) that the FBI could be investigating instead.

  • Akston

    Was it maybe classified as a federal hate crime?

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    I’m sure this is the case. So instead of chasing bank robbers, taypayer robbers or kidnappers, they are chasing what will probably turn out to be some pimply-faced kid who committed what in reality should probably be a misdemeanor offense.

    I absolutely abhor racism. But that’s no reason to federalize a relatively low-level crime.

    I’m sure most federal agents would prefer chasing higher-profile criminals who pose much more of a threat to society, too.

  • Jeremy

    I live in Hartselle, too. I don’t expect there is any insidious plot behind it, just a dumb kid with nothing better to do on a day off from school.