A Black family in Arizona says that someone spray-painted racial slurs on the back of their fence and believes the act was targeted.
The incident happened at Morris Whitner’s Mesa residence on Sunday, KPNX reported. The unidentified perp graffitied the N-word on the wall facing the road behind his property.
“Unfortunately, racism still exists,” Whitner told the outlet. “I was really disappointed about that.”
Local police are investigating the potential hate crime and are looking into if the racist graffiti was directed at the family, according to the report. However, due to lack of security cameras they do not have any suspects in this case.
Whitner pointed out how the message was “strictly” on his wall, and how he’s going to be more aware of what goes on in his community, KPNX reported. He emphasized that the incident will not deter him from his home of the last five years.
“I am not going to be intimidated; we are not moving,” he told CBS 5. “Not going anywhere. We are here. We are going to continue to be here. Be good neighbors and live our lives.”
Mesa is about 20 miles from Phoenix.
Separately, a New York man was charged with a hate crime last year after being accused of spray painting slurs on his neighbor’s fence, according to local news.The victim told law enforcement that the message said “Kill All [redacted].”
It happened just days after the deadly mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. The 61-year-old man pleaded guilty to the crime in February and was sentenced to up to seven years behind bars.