Suspicious packages reported, removed, from Covington, Ky., diocese building

A report of suspicious packages at the headquarters of a Roman Catholic diocese in Covington, Ky., prompted an evacuation of the building Wednesday afternoon.

But by evening authorities had determined that no threats existed and the packages had been turned over to the FBI for further scrutiny, according to reports.

“We were just erring on the side of caution,” Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce told a reporter, referring to the evacuation and subsequent investigation, which occurred near one of Covington’s busiest intersections.

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The chief declined to say what was inside the packages, the River City News of Covington reported.

The city of some 40,000 residents is located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.

The deployment of a Fire Department bomb squad was just the latest interruption of normalcy in the community since last week’s viral-video encounter between students from a local Catholic high school and some Native American and African-African activists in Washington, D.C.

The footage sparked a furious debate – first on social media, then in print and on television – about whether the students were being rude to an elderly Native American, or whether the elderly man and some other adults were bothering the teens.

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The uproar over the video prompted officials at Covington Catholic High School to cancel classes for a day amid reports of death threats reportedly made to community members. A Kentucky prosecutor said Wednesday that he was confident that people making threats would be "held accountable," FOX 19 of Cincinnati reported.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said “far-left activists" and the media were to blame for the threats.

“Far-left activists and members of the national and state media isolated a very few seconds of video footage from any shred of context and many decided it was time to attack and denigrate these young people,” McConnell said.

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Earlier Wednesday, Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann told NBC's "Today" show that he had every right to be near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, where the youths had gathered after attending a March for Life event. He said he wasn't disrespectful and was trying to stay calm under the circumstances.

The packages discovered in Kentucky had arrived via a local courier, just one day after the diocese said it had brought in a third party investigator to review the behavior of the students who appeared in the video.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.