When 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt unleashed a wave of deadly bombings earlier this month, Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley did not characterize the acts as terrorism.
Today he did.
“He was a domestic terrorist for what he did to us,” Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a panel discussion Thursday that focused on how police, the media and the community responded to the Austin bombings hosted by KUT-FM, Austin’s National Public Radio station. “This is a distinction I wanted to make today.
“I was so focused that we put a stop to it,” he added. “I’ve now had the opportunity to sit back and understand and absorb all of the impacts that it had on a personal level and … I’m very comfortable saying that to our community and what he did to us, he was a domestic terrorist.”
Activist Chas Moore, executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition, said that Conditt’s race factored in how law enforcement perceived him, according to KUT. “Because he was white, we gave him the benefit of being a human being,” Moore said.