SPOKANE, Wash. - One day after two convicted felons were charged with a hate crime in North Spokane, community leaders held a press conference to denounce hate and racism.
"These acts of hate, of intolerance, of violence, have no place in Spokane," said Spokane Mayor David Condon, joined by Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl and leaders of several human rights groups.
"These brazen behaviors are growing - we too must grow in our opposition and denunciation of hate," said former Spokane NAACP President Phil Tyler.
Current NAACP President Kurtis Robinson called on people of all races to stand together to combat racism.
"Quit sitting on the sidelines and acting like it's their problem," said Robinson. "Realize it's your problem, because it's your neighbor, it's someone you know."
Many applauded the efforts of the Spokane Police Department in arresting Jason Cooper, and Donald Prichard - the two convicted felons police say assaulted a 66 year old man based on the color of his skin. Coopers girlfriend told investigators he is a white supremacist, and has "white power" tattooed on his leg.
"We are an inclusive community. Our diversity only makes us stronger," said Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl. "When an incident like this happens, it doesn't just affect the person targeted, it affects the entire community," Meidl said.
"If you decide to engage in this type of behavior, you can anticipate that the Spokane Police Department is going to pull out all the stops to bring you to justice, and hold you accountable for that," said Meidl.
The two suspects are being held on a $500,000 bond.
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