Raleigh residents see polarization in monument vandalism
Posted July 21, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — State workers did their best Tuesday to remove spray-painted messages left on a Confederate monument at the State Capitol and three other nearby buildings.
Police think the same person or persons is responsible for the graffiti, which stirred again the divide over Confederate monuments in the South.
The Confederate Women's Monument, which is located in Union Square at the State Capitol, was defaced with the words "Black Lives Matter," while at The Lincoln upscale apartment building on Hargett Street, the message was about gentrification.
State Capitol Police said they were reviewing security camera footage and said they were searching for two people in connection with the Confederate monument vandalism, which occurred shortly before 3:30 a.m.
"It’s just a matter of time before the suspects are identified," State Capitol Police Maj. Anthony Moss said in a statement. "Vandalism of state property of any kind will not be tolerated."
“Vandalism and the destruction of property is not free speech,” Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement. “One does not change the hearts and minds of others by damaging public monuments or private property.”
Local residents also were disturbed by the vandalism.
"That monument was put there for a reason – to honor somebody – and they need to respect that," said Cooper Nunnery.
Johnny Mitchell suggested that the vandals had misdirected their efforts.
"The Legislative Building is a couple blocks over. If you have a problem, that's the place you go," he said.
Tuesday's attacks are the latest on Confederate monuments in the wake of the shootings of nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C., church by a man pictured with white supremacist and Confederate memorabilia.
"I'm sorry to see how polarized we're becoming," Mary Warren, of Raleigh, said. "Black lives matter, but all lives matter."