Local News

Theft of Black Lives Matter sign unites Raleigh neighborhood

Posted July 8, 2020 7:06 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh neighborhood is rallying around a family after another resident admitted to taking a Black Lives Matter sign from their front yard.

The incident occurred Tuesday in the Renaissance Park neighborhood, off Tryon Road in south Raleigh.

"That’s so upsetting to me," said one resident, whose wife witnessed the theft and snapped a photo of a car leaving the area. "Like, why do you not like somebody based off the color of their skin? I’m one of the nicest people she could ever meet."

Neighbors on the Nextdoor social networking site helped identify the suspected thief as 35-year-old Amanda Penny, and police charged her with misdemeanor larceny.

Penny responded on Nextdoor that "... although ALL lives matter, I didn’t realize our neighborhood was taking a political stance in the rioting, ruining Downtown Raleigh, the USA at that, ruining businesses … and now … ruining reputations."

"What she was afraid of – looters or rioters or people stealing because of this – she, in fact, did," Renaissance Park resident Cori Greer-Banks said. "It was illogical."

"Anytime we say, 'Black Lives Matter,' and somebody comes back and says, 'All Lives Matter,' I feel like, to me, that’s being insensitive of what’s really the issue," said the man whose wife witnessed the sign theft.

Penny said in a statement Wednesday to WRAL News that she supports the Black Lives Matter movement and "I am not a racist."

"The only reason I removed it is because I don’t want rioters, protesters and anything to start like that in the neighborhood," she wrote in the statement. "Of course, I regret it. I didn’t remove the sign for the reasons they are saying and didn’t consider it ‘stealing.’ … I would be more than happy to walk over there and apologize."

"I think she’s not sorry about what she did, but basically, she is sorry she got caught," the man said.

Now, he said, even more neighbors plan to put Black Lives Matter signs in their yards.

"These signs that have gone out have inspired so much conversation," Greer-Banks said.

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