An arrest has been made in the spray painting of racist graffiti on the front door of a Manchester-area home five days after a father and his young son moved into their new building.
Jackson Yamba confirmed Wednesday the Greater Manchester Police made an arrest in the incident, which he first reported on Feb. 8 but seemingly was only investigated after his tweet about the incident went viral more than a week later. The post showed the phrase “No blacks, no blacks” dripping down the front door of his apartment in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. The same phrase was also painted on the entryway.
On Feb. 20, Greater Manchester Police also confirmed their arrest, saying in a statement that a 54-year-old man had been “arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage.” The suspect is still in custody for questioning.
“While we have a man in custody, our inquiries into this deplorable crime are very much ongoing,” said Superintendent Howard Millington of GMP’s Salford Division in a news release. “I want to emphasize that we are acutely aware of the strength of public feeling surrounding this incident. Both CID and neighborhood officers are looking into this crime and we are working closely with our partners to support the victim, as is the case in all hate crimes.
“Let me reassure people that where incidents of this nature take place, we will always pursue a prosecution,” he added. “If you have information which could assist the police with our investigation, please contact us as soon as you can.”
On Saturday, Feb. 16, Yamba put out a tweet tagging local news outlets including BBC Breaking News, The Guardian and Rebecca Long-Bailey, member of Parliament for Salford and Eccles.
“My front door in Salford was painted over a week ago with this abhorrent racist graffiti – after reporting it to @gmpolice they still haven’t been here to investigate. How do I assure my traumatized 10 year old that he is safe in his home?” Yamba wrote.
Because it took so long for officers to respond, Yamba and his son, David, who recently joined his dad in England after living in Scotland, had to encounter the message for days.
“I was struggling to get to bed because what if they came back and they done something worse?” David said to ITV.
The incident has Yamba wondering if he should move again.
“To go to a safe place where my son will be safer,” he said to the news outlet. “Where he can go out, enjoy outside like any other children. For the moment, he can’t do that. For the moment, he can’t go to school alone.”
Still, the dad’s viral tweet, which was retweeted 13,000 times, has led to an outpouring of support. A GoFundMe campaign was launched Feb. 17 to replace the family’s door. So far, nearly $3,000 have been raised. The father-son pair also got invited to a rugby game, which David is looking forward to.
“I am really grateful for the amount of support across the country,” Yamba tweeted. “There is no word to describe my gratefulness. My son and I want to thank you all. I have been seen by the Police and received unlimited support from you all. We love you all.”