"He does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate…it is the outcry of a very challenged young man," says Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, describing a recorded confession left by the suspected Austin bomber #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/E7hBgNe2aR
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) March 21, 2018
Austin’s police chief is catching criticism over his description of the serial bombing suspect that terrorized the city of Austin with a series of package explosives that killed two people and left several others injured.
At a news conference Wednesday, Police Chief Brian Manley revealed authorities had found a 25-minute cellphone recording with bomber suspect Mark Conditt’s “confession,” in which he detailed the differences among the bombs he built, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. Manley described the tape as the “outcry of a very challenged young man.”
“Having listened to that recording, he doesn’t at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate,” Manely said of Conditt, 23, who blew himself up in a car early Wednesday as police closed in on him.
The police chief’s refusal to label Conditt a domestic terrorist sparked outrage among critics who charged that the suspect would’ve quickly been called a terrorist had he been a person of color and not a quiet, “nerdy” white man from a “tight-knit godly family.” Several took to social media to voice their frustration over the blatant double standard.
Because the chief says the deceased didn’t mention “terrorism”, & was a “very challenged young man” doesn’t mean he’s not a terrorist. He terrorized an American city for weeks. That’s not opinion. It’s fact. Let’s identify him as what he is: a terrorist, by all know facts, so far https://t.co/HXhkGTFs7K
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 21, 2018
He can’t be serious. So, since the boy left a tape saying he’s not a bigot, does that mean they don’t view him as a domestic terrorist??? pic.twitter.com/QRr8kG4P7n
— BlackFilmsonNetflix (@blknetflix) March 22, 2018
Is this police chief racist or what?
They always find something good to say about their white killers but are quick to jump on the worse denomination they can think of when it comes to POC.
— Yawovi (@YIhougan) March 22, 2018
— DavidDunn (@ImDavidDunn) March 22, 2018
I’m lost on this one. He had challenges so he carefully crafted six bombs, found the addresses of six people, created a disguise to ship the bombs, which killed two people, then constructed a final bomb and kills himself. Because he’s challenged. pic.twitter.com/pVOGUUdZna
— Ayanis Boreisette (@lawgurrl) March 22, 2018
Any guess Y similiar kids will do the same???
Because the media will only label brown Ppl as terrible 4 killing Ppl. But this kid is has challenges in life.
Like WTF doesnt? I’ve had several challenges & yet I haven’t bombed people.
Maybe my tan allows the handling of adversity
— OmakaRocks 🇺🇸 🇳🇬 🇩🇰 (@OMAKAROCKS) March 22, 2018
Can't wait for @TuckerCarlson @IngrahamAngle @SeanHannity to delve into the family background of Austin bomber and domestic terrorist Mark A. Conditt. I want to know where his father was. What kind of values does that family have. Where was he radicalized. You know the drill!
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) March 21, 2018
The New York Times was also called out for its description of the bomber, as its coverage painted Conditt as just the nerdy kid of the neighborhood.
“He was … always reading, devouring books and computers and things like that,” Donna Sebastian Harp, who’s known the Conditt family for almost 18 years, told the paper. “He was always kind of quiet.”
Next-door neighbor Jeff Reeb, 75, said Conditt always seemed like he was very polite.
“It’s extremely shocking,” Reeb said amid news that his young neighbor was behind the deadly bombings. “My summation is it doesn’t make any sense. It just doesn’t make any sense, which, most of these things like this, don’t make any sense.”
So far, Conditt has been linked to six bombs that either exploded or were discovered in the Austin area before they went off. The first blast occurred March 2, fatally injuring 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. Two more explosions occurred less than two weeks later, killing promising musician Draylen Mason, 17, and injuring an elderly Hispanic woman.
All of Conditt’s early victims were minorities, but police have backed off initial suggestions that the bombings could be racially motivated.
“We’re not ruling anything out,” Manley said at a press conference earlier this month.
The family of the now-deceased bomber released a statement in the wake of his identity being released to the public in which they expressed shock in his involvement in the tragedies.
“We are devastated and broken at the news that our family member could be involved,” the statement read. “We had no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in.”
“Our family is a normal family in every way,” it continued. “We love, and we pray and we try to inspire and serve others. Right now our prayers are for those families who have lost loved ones, for those impacted in any way and for the soul of our Mark.”
A motive for the bombings is still being determined.