An explosion near the NAACP offices of Colorado Springs, Co. on Tuesday was strong enough to knock several items off the wall, the chapter’s president told the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The bomb, detonated against the wall of a building housing the civil-rights organization's office, could have done more damage had it actually gone as planned. The FBI said that the "improvised explosive device" was detonated close to a can of gas, but that the can did not ignite in the explosion.
But officials have yet to determine whether the NAACP was the target of the explosion.
"We don't know what it was, don't know if it was directed at us. Of course, I doubt anyone was targeting Mr. G's hair studio," an NAACP employee told USA Today on the scene, referring to the hair salon located on the other end of the building.
The FBI is looking for a suspect described as a balding white male, around the age of 40. "He may be driving a 2000 or older model dirty, white pick-up truck with paneling, a dark colored bed liner, open tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate," the FBI said in a statement.
Even as the investigation remains its in early stages, the incident has already sparked controversy online, with many people saying the incident should have drawn more media attention than it has actually received.
"Reminder: this was CNN's coverage of the "Times Square bombing" that was little more than a firecracker," mentioned a commenter on Gawker.
If the NAACP was indeed the target of the bombing, as many observers suspect, it would not be the first time the organization has been attacked. Most notably, the home of Henry T. Moore, founder of NAACP Florida's State Conference, was bombed on Christmas Day in 1951. Both he and his wife were killed in the attack, which rocked the nation at the time. Ensuing FBI investigations pointed towards the Ku Klux Klan, but no arrests were made by the time the case was closed in 2006.
In Colorado's case, NAACP President Cornell Brooks put out a statement saying that the organization would remain "vigilant," though the cause of the explosion is still unknown.
Colorado Springs chapter president Allen Jr. told the Gazette that his organization would not be deterred from carrying out their work.
"We'll move on," he said. "This won't deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community."
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.