SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS (CNN) – The FBI and Salem police are investigating an alleged hate crime in Massachusetts where Zoom bombers tried to hijack a streaming church service with racist propaganda.
The sounds are similar but the pews are empty — Sunday worship at Tabernacle Congregational Church in downtown Salem held on Zoom because of COVID-19.
About 40 people were part of the virtual service when all of the sudden, an interruption:
As many as five zoom bombers “hijacked” the meeting, playing videos of the Ku Klux Klan burning crosses as vulgar, racist music plays in the background,
“The resiliency of my congregation was incredible; we didn’t let that stop us,” Rev. Joe Amico.
Amico says while it was upsetting to see, they were prepared for the possibility of this happening. They kept the link open so anyone could join, similar to the front doors of the church
“Why do they do it? And the response was–because they can, unfortunately, and it’s obviously people wanting some sort of sick attention,” Amico says.
Amico reported the racist video to Salem police they’re investigating the incident as a hate crime, along with the FBI.
Trying to figure out who this person is and the others who zoom bombed this church.
“We pray for them and pray that they might get help if they need it, and we move on,” Amico says.
The Anti-Defamation League is also aware of this incident. The church making that Zoom link private now going forward, so only parishioners can access it in the future.