A memorial service for a beloved civil rights activist in Phoenix took a devastating turn when the broadcast was disrupted by people shouting racist remarks.
Calvin C. Goode served on the Phoenix City Council for 22 years and was only the second Black person elected to serve back in 1972. He also served as the city's vice mayor in 1974 and 1984.
“He dedicated his entire life to giving back to others,” Jevin Hodge, president of Goode’s Booker T. Washington Child Development Program, told ABC15. “For individuals to degrade him, deface him and his honor and his legacy, in his final hours, and his funeral. It’s disgusting.”
Goode’s memorial service was held virtually on Tuesday, broadcast over Zoom and Facebook Live as is common amid the coronavirus pandemic. More than 300 people were tuned in when two or more hackers forced their way into the broadcast and began yelling obscenities, including the N-word, according to AZ Central.
Zoom hacks are an ongoing problem, affecting workplaces, schools, and smaller-scale virtual gatherings. But the racist interruption of the memorial service for a man who was known as the “conscience” of the Phoenix City Council has been upsetting to people who knew him.
“I condemn the racists who disrupted Vice Mayor Goode’s funeral services,” Mayor Kate Gallego tweeted after the fact. “This is horrific and does not represent the values & commitment of our community.”
Gallego was speaking at Goode’s service at the time of the disruption.
Other Arizona leaders and people who were watching the broadcast spoke up to denounce the hackers as well. “Outrageous. Calvin Goode worked relentlessly to make Arizona a better place,” wrote Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
The Phoenix Police Department and the FBI are investigating, and Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski has said he is pushing for whoever was behind the racist hack to be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law.”
A longtime friend of Goode’s, Cloves Campbell, told AZ Central that Goode “would be upset [by the racist attack] but at the same time he would ask people to remain calm and understand there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
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H/T the Root