The FBI is investigating the shooting death of a black Alabama man in front of his own home as a hate crime.
Jailer Joshua Parker and Joel Abbott, both 23, were charged with murdering 42-year-old Deatrice Barclay. The shooting occurred outside of Barclay’s home on Jan. 19 and, according to some of Barclay’s family members, a disagreement over the Confederate flag led to the shooting.
“The Birmingham FBI Field Office has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting death of Deatrice Barclay. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial matter,” an FBI spokesperson confirmed to WBRC.
Parker works for the Anniston City Jail and the Anniston Police Department. Anniston police turned its investigation over to the Alabama State Bureau because of Parker’s affiliation with the city’s police department.
“I’m not sure how the federal investigation was requested but it would make sense the state requested it while they did their investigation,” Calhoun County District Attorney Brian McVeigh said, according to The Anniston Star.
“We will continue to work towards a trial on these cases,” he explained. “If the FBI decides there is enough to pursue a federal hate crime, then we will be put on hold to see the outcome of their cases.”
Meanwhile Barclay’s family is still mourning the loss of a beloved relative.
“They took my friend, my lover, my husband, grandfather…they took my heart away from me,” the victim’s wife, Sherry Barclay, said of her husband during a bond hearing for the two suspects.