A predominantly Black church is speaking out after several auto and bike clubs gathered in its parking lot for a “Back the Blue” cruise.
“We did not approve them, and they know that we did not approve them,” said Senior Pastor Dr. Frederick Haynes. Along with members from his congregation, Haynes showed up outside Dallas police headquarters on Sunday night to express their frustration with what they call a racist act.
The bike and auto vehicles parked in the church parking lot; a #BlackLivesMatter banner was displayed across the front of the building. Meanwhile, bike and auto clubs were sporting confederate flags. “For this type of intimidation to take place where they come to our community and choose a church that has a sign on it… Black Lives Matter… it’s an act of intimidation. It’s almost like they were trying to declare war on us,” said Haynes.
In response, North Texas Jeep Club President Justin Gaffey said he thinks the mishap was a setup. “I feel like one of the people that might have helped organize the event might have set us up to come here to try to cause some adversity or cause some type of issues,” Gaffey explained. Gaffey and his club participated in the “Back the Blue” cruise, which includes a 100 plus mile rude through Dallas/Fort Worth. He said he was totally unaware of the rally’s location and said he feels bad about what has happened. “Horrible, personally,” Gaffey said. “That’s not what our club stands for. That’s not the kind of stuff we get involved in. We don’t allow any kind of politics, any kind of racism. We definitely wouldn’t have come here to start any issues.”
Dallas police were there to manage the rally but claimed that they presumed the clubs were there with permission. However, the church says they were not. “They just need to know you will not come to Oak Cliff, you will not come to Friendship-West and act like black lives don’t matter because they do,” Haynes said. An investigation into the matter has been launched, according to CBS Local.