A funeral held for a civil rights icon was reportedly disrupted by hackers. According to ABC News, a virtual service for Calvin Coolidge Goode was interrupted by individuals yelling racial slurs.
Families and friends of Goode — the second Black councilmember in Phoenix, former vice mayor and the longest-tenured elected official in the city’s history — gathered virtually on Monday (Jan. 11) to honor his life and years-long work toward racial equity. As Mayor Kate Gallego shared a few words on his legacy, a man was heard spewing slurs. The Historic Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church ended the live stream and continued the service in another one.
Authorities are currently investigating the virtual incident to determine the individuals behind the racial insults.
“The Phoenix Police Department has been made aware of the incident and after speaking with the FBI, the department will be the lead investigative agency,” spokeswoman Maggie Cox said in an email. “This type of language and disruption is unacceptable and only divides our community. We are committed to working with our community in identifying the person(s) responsible for this act.”
Several Arizona officials have since praised Goode’s work, denouncing the individuals who interrupted his service with derogatory statements.
Mayor Kate Gallego tweeted, “I condemn the racists who disrupted Vice Mayor Goode’s funeral services. This is horrific and does not represent the values & commitment of our community. I am determined to continue Vice Mayor Goode’s fight.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also reacted to the news on Twitter. “Former councilman Calvin Goode was a civil rights leader who served with honor and distinction,” he wrote. “The racist and abhorrent remarks made during his funeral service today are wrong, and I condemn them.”
“The hate act that occurred during the celebration of life for Vice Mayor Goode today was atrocious and unforgivable,” Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski added in his statement. “We must do better.”
Goode — who dedicated years to fighting for equal opportunity, affordable housing and education — died on Dec. 23 at 93 years old. He reportedly passed from an illness unrelated to COVID-19.