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Racist graffiti found on car in Wilmington

Photos courtesy of Olivia Nasser Facebook page

A car in Wilmington’s Woodlawn neighborhood was found spray painted with racist graffiti Wednesday.

The car, parked on the 600 block of Bayard Ave, had ‘KKK’ painted on it, along with a swastika, the phrase “Go back to Africa,”  as well as other racist epithets.

Wilmington Police says they are investigating it as a possible hate crime due to the nature of the graffiti, but add it appears to be an isolated incident, with no other cars in the area damaged.

But in the wake of the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which turned violent clashes and left one woman dead and 19 others injured, the graffiti on the car is drawing a response from local officials.

Gov. John Carney (D) tweeted that “this expression of racism and hate is disgusting,” adding "we all need to stand up for our neighbors and refuse to tolerate this kind of intimidation."

Wilmington mayor Mike Purzycki (D), WilmingtonNew Castle Councilman Jea Street (D-10th District) and State Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South)  also issued statements condemning the vandalism and its message.

"This behavior is contemptable. We have no tolerance for this and will take all steps to find and prosecute the perpetrator,” said Purzycki in a statement.

“Yesterday’s incident of hate, intimidation, and vandalism was truly reprehensible.  Wilmington City Council stands with residents across our City, State, and nation to denounce and repudiate this hate crime and others like it," said City Council's joint statement. "Wednesday’s cowardly act of racism and intolerance, which we have seen most recently in cities like Charlottesville, does not reflect who we are as Wilmingtonians or Americans. There is simply no place for such acts of hatred and incidents like this should not be taken lightly. One of Wilmington’s most treasured and valued assets is the diversity of our residents and the various cultures and backgrounds that are woven into the fabric of our City. We must reject these actions of hate in no uncertain terms; find those responsible and hold them accountable; and stand united against hate.”

“We are beyond sickened by this blatant act of racism and hate speech. It has no place in society and should be called out," said Street and Keeley in a joint statement. "As elected officials, we stand united against all forms of bigotry and hate, and we will work with officials at all levels to condemn and prevent this type of action. We must continue to promote unity among all residents of our communities."

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.