Local News

Crews Clean Racial Graffiti In Durham

Posted December 22, 2005 12:34 p.m. EST

— First burning crosses, now grafitti. Signs of hate have turned up at least four times this year in Durham. Crews were busy Wednesday cleaning up the latest racially charged vandalism.

Officials say someone spraypainted KKK on mailboxes, garbage cans, signs and on the street along Stoneybrook Drive.

Ruby Anderson said she noticed the graffiti while on her morning walk.

"It's the first thing that I had seen like that. I'm sure they weren't from around here," she said. "I would like to get a hold of their necks and wring them for awhile."

Residents of the Croasdale neighborhood are upset. Investigators say they should be.

"We're taking this very seriously," said Durham Police Capt. Ed Sarvis. "Some people may think this is just juvenile vandalism, but to us it's very serious. We're looking at possible ethnic intimidation charges.

It is the third incident that occurred in the same part of Durham. In October, dozens of mailboxes and signs were spraypainted with similar messages. Last Friday, a car was also spraypainted with racial messages.

FBI agents met with officers on Wednesday to discuss those incidents and three unsolved cross burning cases from last May. Investigators are trying to determine whether they are all related.

"We're keeping in very close contact with them and communicating regularly regarding the cross burnings and vandalism," said Sarvis.