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Garner chief: Anti-police graffiti cowardly, a hate crime

Posted October 19, 2015

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— A visibly upset Garner chief of police said Monday that vandalism to a mural at the new Garner Police Department headquarters with the words "kill a cop, save a child" must be interpreted as a threat to his officers.

"It's absolutely a hate crime. It's targeting police officers," Garner Police Chief Brandon Zuidema said.

Zuidema said the same phrase was found sprayed on doors and walls in the 500 block of Village Court Monday morning.

Mural artist Vincent Wood discovered when he arrived to work on Friday that vandals had sprayed the phrase in white on his work-in-progress.

Although police have not shared any information about leads in either case, Zuidema said the message is not representative of his community.

"This is an individual or individuals, cowards if you will, acting under the anonymity they have to share an awful and disgusting message," he said.

"They may live here, but they're not a part of who this community is or what we're about."

With the second incident, the city has boosted to $5,000 a reward for information leading to the culprits.

Zuidema estimated that cleaning and repairing the mural would cost Wood an additional 40 to 50 hours of work and $2,000 in expenses. To keep those costs from falling on the taxpayers, Zuidema said the town has started an online crowdfunding campaign.

The town has added lights, around-the-clock security and fences at the site of the new headquarters, but, because the building is not complete, surveillance cameras which might have caught the vandals in action are not yet installed.

"We shouldn't have to do that," Zuidema said of the stepped-up security measures.

23 Comments

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  • Jonathan Barnes Oct 21, 2015
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    "Maybe not recognized by definition and eligible for increased sentencing in criminal cases"

    ...just sayin'

  • Tyrone Biggum Oct 20, 2015
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    Wrong. There's a huge difference between having to wear a bullet proof vest to protect themselves in the event that they come across a criminal who will stop at nothing to avoid capture and someone specifically targeting police officers for the sole purpose of murdering them.

    Beside that point, this wasn't an "every day" occurrence, was it? It's not every day that support for killing cops is scrawled across the wall of a police department headquarters. He has every right to be furious and disgusted.

  • submoa Oct 20, 2015

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    Cops know they have been targeted well before someone painted on a wall. It's why they wear bullet proof vests every day. If he is angry about that every day, well perhaps police chief is not the best position for him.

  • Tyrone Biggum Oct 20, 2015
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    Yeah I'm sure the reason he's mad is because he couldn't "protect his own base of operations". His anger couldn't possibly be due to the encouragement of killing his officers. Take a seat clown.

  • Tyrone Biggum Oct 20, 2015
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    For all intents and purposes, both are absolutely hate crimes. Maybe not recognized by definition and eligible for increased sentencing in criminal cases but hate crimes nonetheless. When you target a group of people for certain and specific characteristics, that's a hate crime. Let's just call it what it is.

    You're also kidding yourself if you can't admit that defacing statues that represent white ancestry/heritage isn't a hate crime. Double standard.

  • submoa Oct 20, 2015

    Seems the police chief doesn't know what a hate crime is. Here in NC we have crimes of ethnic animosity and federally we have hate crimes. Neither of the definitions apply, He's just mad that he cant protect his own base of operations.

  • Matt Wood Oct 20, 2015
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    "White Power" and "Black Lives Matter" are NOT the same. The former advocates one race above all others, while the latter advocates one race being equal to others.

  • Sean Creasy Oct 20, 2015
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    It all depends on what statue gets sprayed and what is sprayed on it.... In my opinion spraying "Black Lives Matter" on a statue for Confederate soldiers who died in battle is the same as spraying "White Power" on the front of a black church. Each one is a racist act.

  • Jonathan Barnes Oct 20, 2015
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    I'm not insinuating, I'm saying that spraying the statues was not a hate crime, it was vandalism. Same with the vandalism from this article. It doesn't excuse the vandalism by any means, but it's simply not a hate crime.

  • Mick Flynn Oct 20, 2015
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    Ok typo. NC "hate crime" statute

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