Drivers deny yelling racial slurs while waving Confederate flags at Virginia Beach oceanfront

Posted at 1:23 PM, Jun 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-01 07:13:34-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Roughly a dozen pick up trucks paraded down Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach over the weekend with Confederate flags flying out of their truck beds. Witnesses told WTKR the drivers also screamed racial slurs while driving near the oceanfront.

"They’re screaming. They’re yelling and honking their horns," witness Angel Cook said. "I was petrified, I was like 'what is going on?'"

Japharri Jones, of Hampton, captured portions of the scene on his cell phone. He said the  trucks drove around for roughly two hours. Jones told WVEC he complained to police about the actions of the truck drivers, but was told no laws were broken.

"According to 2nd Precinct supervisors working that night, there were no instances of the flag bearers antagonizing anyone or instances of them engaged in disturbing the peace as defined by city and state ordinances," the Virginia Beach Police told WVEC in a statement.

"I want to be out enjoying myself," Cook said. "To have people out there yelling and screaming racial slurs... it’s not a good look."

William French, one of the men driving a pick-up truck, denied anyone in his group used racial slurs.

"We just wanted to go out there and show that we aren’t out there to hate people," French said. "The flag doesn’t stand for racism or slavery to us. The flag is a symbol we are proud to be Southerners, we love the South we are from here."

He said he and his friends were the target of racial slurs.

"I had a bunch of people come up to my window saying a bunch of negative things about what we were doing, and I have nothing negative to say about them," he said.

French said he wanted to stress his use of the Confederate flag was not associated with any hate groups.

"The KKK is a radical extremist group that we are no where in no way shape or form we do not support them at all," French said.