Law | National

Police investigate racial incident during Alaska Native festival






Dancers participate in parade during Sealaska Heritage Institute's Celebration 2014. Photo from Twitter

Police in Juneau, Alaska, are investigating a racial incident that occurred during Sealaska Heritage Institute's Celebration 2014.

During a parade on Saturday morning, a man grabbed an American flag out of the hands of a 67-year-old Native veteran. He yelled "racial slurs" and tried to spit on the flag, the police department said in a press release.

The man tried to run off with the flag and shoved several people, including a 53-year-old Native woman. The flag was eventually recovered but the suspect got away.

"Many people were taking pictures and video of the dancers going through the flag corridor," the press release stated. "Crime Line is offering a reward for a picture, video, or other information that leads to the identification of the suspect."

Sealaska Heritage Institute hosts the weekend-long event every two years. It draws tens of thousands of people to Juneau for cultural presentations, dance performances, an art show and the parade.

Get the Story:
Racial Outburst Disrupts End Of Celebration Parade (KTOO 6/17)
‘Racial incident' mars close of Alaska Native festival in Juneau (The Alaska Dispatch 6/16)
Slideshow | A parade to Celebrate (The Juneau Empire 6/16)
In Alaska, a celebration of Native American culture and dance (The Washington Post 6/15)