Stickers such as these were found in Arlington, MA on Monday morning
Residents of a Massachusetts town are stunned after vandals defaced a number of Black Lives Matter signs with stickers depicting hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty said the department responded to, and is actively investigating, four incidents of ‘malicious vandalism’ in the city aimed at Black Lives Matter signage.
All four incidents were reported on Monday morning and originated at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist church, at Calvary Church, and at two private residences in East Arlington.
At the Unitarian church, the Black Lives Matter banner was altered to read ‘ALL Lives Matter’ according to WFXT-TV.
At the Cavalry Church two Black Lives Matter signs and one mural were destroyed.
The Black Lives Matter sign outside of a church is seen vandalized on Monday morning
At one private residence a KKK sticker was affixed to a ‘Black Lives Matter’ lawn sign and at another the same KKK sticker was stuck to a ‘Hate Has no Home Here’ lawn sign.
In both cases the sticker depicted a Klansman wearing a white robe and mask on a horse with a torch.
‘We are thoroughly investigating these incidents,’ said Chief Flaherty in a statement. ‘The hurtful messages far outweigh the physical damage done and underscore the work that needs to be done to make Arlington a truly supportive and welcoming town.’
Police say that over the course of the last few weeks, a number of other Black Lives Matter signs have been stolen, egged, and vandalized, including the banner at the high school.
Other signs outside of an Arlington church are seen vandalized on Monday
‘The Arlington Human Rights Commission is appalled at this pattern of racist destruction, defacement, and vandalism,’ said Sharon Grossman and Kristen Bauer, Arlington Human Rights Commission Co-Chairs. ‘The Commission has formed a working group to explore responses and ways to support the community.’
‘The Board is extremely disappointed to see these acts of vandalism,’ said John Hurd, Arlington Select Board Chair.
‘It is a painful reminder that racism exists in Arlington and reinforces the Town’s commitment to further promote diversity, equity and inclusion in Town. We appreciate the work the Arlington Police Department investigating this matter.’
‘These acts of vandalism and attacks on free speech are unacceptable,’ said Sandy Pooler, Acting Town Manager. ‘The Town supports Black Lives Matter and all those who express those sentiments.’