None of the politicians who asserted that last month’s bombing in Colorado Springs was targeted at the city’s NAACP branch are now willing to admit that they were wrong.
The Daily Caller reached out to Maryland U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and Texas U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee upon Friday’s news that the man who set off a small bomb at the building which housed Colorado Springs’ NAACP branch on Jan. 6 — 44-year-old Thaddeus Murphy — actually targeted his former accountant, not the NAACP.
Only Cardin’s office responded to the request for comment.
All three of those Democratic politicians, as well as the NAACP’s national headquarters, condemned last month’s attack based on the belief that the civil rights organization was the target.
Jackson-Lee suspected that the bombing constituted a hate crime.
#NAACPBombing undermines years of progress & demands federal review to know whether it is a hate crime. We’ve come too far to turn back now.
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) January 9, 2015
Cardin weighed in, asserting, without any evidence, that the civil rights organization was the target.
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) January 9, 2015
Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, said that the bombing was reminiscent of that troubled era.
I am deeply troubled by the bombing in Colorado. It reminds me of another period. These stories cannot be swept under the rug #NAACPBombing
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) January 7, 2015
During an interview with law enforcement officers on Thursday, Murphy admitted he set off the explosion. But he said that his target was not the NAACP. Rather, Murphy sought revenge on his old accountant, a man named Steve Dehaven.
Dehaven’s offices were once in the same building as the NAACP branch and a barber shop. Murphy set his small bomb — which caused little damage — on the barber shop’s side of the building.
Murphy told investigators that he “flipped out” and set off the explosion because Dehaven had apparently given him the run-around on his taxes.
Press secretaries for Jackson-Lee and Lewis did not respond to TheDC’s requests for comment on the latest developments.
Cardin’s office did respond.
“Senator Cardin stands by the sentiments in his original message, which expressed concern for the safety of all in the vicinity of the Colorado bombing,” Tim Zink, Cardin’s press secretary, told TheDC through email.
The NAACP also did not second-guess itself. In a statement released Friday, the civil rights group merely recounted what has already been made known about the latest developments in the case. Asked for comment, the organization’s press office sent along a prepared statement.
“The NAACP appreciates the swift efforts of both local and federal authorities in Colorado Springs in arresting and charging a suspect in the explosion incident at our Colorado Springs Branch office,” NAACP national president Cornell Brooks said in the statement.
“We seek a continued investigation into the motive of the alleged suspect and we look forward to the culmination of his criminal trial. We will remain vigilant as we continue fighting for civil and human rights in Colorado Springs and throughout the country.”