Local News

Racist graffiti painted on Moore bridges, signs

Posted July 9, 2015 10:52 a.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2015 6:15 p.m. EDT

— Moore County deputies were investigating Thursday who painted racist, profane graffiti on three bridges over U.S. Highway 1 near Vass.

A driver, Jamie Jones, shared photos with WRAL News, showing the words "F*** N****** KKK" on one of the bridges.

Sheriff Neil Godfrey said the graffiti was found on U.S. 1 overpasses at N.C. Highway 24/27, Atkins Road and James Street. Close to a dozen traffic signs near the traffic circle on N.C. Highway 22, near Sandhills Community College, also were vandalized, officials said.

State Department of Transportation crews painted over the graffiti on the bridge rails and roadways, and other crews replaced most of the targeted signs. DOT spokeswoman Ginny Tyson Inman said the agency is making new directional signs for the traffic circle to point drivers toward Carthage, Pinehurst and Sandhills Community College.

Resident Jamie Jones said she nearly cried when she saw the graffiti while driving on U.S. 1.

"I didn't think it would be this close to home. It's sad that this is what we have to live in, live through," Jones said. "You would think ... you wouldn't have to worry about this because it's a quiet, pretty quiet, town. Nothing happens, and then, next thing you know, you wake up one morning and all this is going on."

She said she believes the graffiti is in retaliation for "Black Lives Matter" being spray-painted on three Confederate memorials – two in Durham and one on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus – in the past week.

Chief Deputy Gerrell Seawell said it was pure speculation to link the graffiti to what happened to the Confederate memorials or even the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds in Columbia, S.C.

"It could be the totality of all the circumstances going on and what’s been going on in the media all these weeks," Seawell said.

Jones said she worries about the current racial climate in the country.

"I feel like it's all just going down hill pretty much," she said. "We all need to come together as one. This is just unacceptable."

Moore County Manager Wayne Vest said the vandals don't speak for everyone in the county.

"That is not representative of Moore County. It's not representative of the people who live here," Vest said.