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Confederate Flag Supporters in Georgia Charged With Making 'Terrorist Threats' After Confrontation With Black Partygoers

More than a dozen supporters of the Confederate flag who clashed with a group of black people attending a child's birthday party in Georgia have been indicted on state charges of making "terroristic threats," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday.
After a gunman, motivated by racist ideas, killed nine black church goers in Charleston, S.C., in June, some elected officials in the South have tried to remove the Confederate flag from public places. Some Southerners protest that the flag has a public role as a symbol of their heritage.
Michael Reynolds/EPA /LANDOV

More than a dozen supporters of the Confederate flag who clashed with a group of black people attending a child's birthday party in Georgia have been indicted on state charges of making "terroristic threats," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday.

The confrontation in Douglas County took place on July 25 amid a national debate about the controversial flag triggered by the June killing of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina.

The flag became a flashpoint after the white man accused of carrying out the racially motivatedchurch shootings was seen in photographs posing with the flag, which was used by the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War.

A grand jury in Douglas County, in the northwestern part of the state, on Friday handed down indictments against 15 members of the group "Respect the Flag" for making "terroristic threats" in violation of the state's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, the AJC said, citing the district attorney's office.

Cell phone videos posted on social media showed more than a half dozen pickup trucks flying the Confederate and other flags gathering on a grassy area and at least one racial epithet was heard, the AJC said.

The woman who was hosting the birthday celebration next door said the convoy interrupted the party with threat and slurs.

The driver of one of the trucks is quoted in the AJC as saying the convoy was at a separate event, was driving home and, as it drove by the party, celebrants started yelling and throwing rocks.

Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner's office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)