PALESTINE, Texas — Palestine police don’t believe local community members were involved in an anti-Semitic organized protest near Reagan Park on Saturday - the same day four people were held hostage in a Fort Worth-area synagogue.
Palestine Police Chief Mark Harcrow said in a Facebook post Saturday the police department received several calls concerning a protest that they later learned included an organized anti-Semitic group with signs and banners.
Officers told the group, which was set up near the intersection of Crockett Road and East Park Avenue, that while they have the right to assemble, people getting in the roadways or using derogatory language would not be tolerated, Marcrow said.
“We do believe that this is not a local and traveled to Palestine,” Marcrow said. “Hate has no place in our community.”
He added that officers stayed on scene monitoring the group, which disbanded and left a short time later. Marcrow thanked Palestine citizens for remaining calm while the situation was handled.
At Beth Israel in Colleyville, all four hostages were eventually able to escape and the hostage-taker was killed.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker was one of four people held hostage by 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, a British citizen, for roughly 12 hours.
During the standoff, Akram was reportedly demanding to speak to Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al-Qaida, according to CBS News.