Mayor condemns racist graffiti found in Arlington Heights

  • Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes on Sunday condemned racist graffiti found Sunday morning in a pedestrian underpass in the village.

      Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes on Sunday condemned racist graffiti found Sunday morning in a pedestrian underpass in the village. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, February 2020

 
 
Updated 5/31/2020 5:59 PM

Racist graffiti found in an Arlington Heights pedestrian underpass drew a quick response Sunday from residents, police and the village's mayor.

"Cowardly, hateful and destructive acts such as these are not representative of who we are in Arlington Heights, and such sentiments are not welcome here," Mayor Tom Hayes said in a written statement. "The fact that these divisive acts occurred during a time when our nation is in the midst of a global pandemic and mourning the tragic murder of George Floyd and its aftermath, makes them even more despicable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The graffiti has been removed. We must all come together to find the answers that will get us through these difficult times," he added.

Similar graffiti was reported along the path at Lake Arlington on the north side of the village.

Police said they were called Sunday morning about the graffiti found on the walls of an underpass near Northwest Highway, East Kensington Road and North Douglas Avenue. Photos circulating on social media depicted a swastika, the letters "KKK" and another racial message.

Officials said the graffiti was suspected to have been spray-painted on the walls overnight.

Before village public works crews arrived to paint over the graffiti, residents taped signs over them with messages like "Love Thy Neighbor" and "Hate Has No Home Here."

Several village trustees discussed the vandalism while attending a protest and vigil in memory of Floyd.

"I think we live in a really wonderful village, but that doesn't mean that our village is immune from the issues that are facing our nation as a whole, in terms of racism and anti-Semitism," said Trustee Mary Beth Canty. "And I think it's important that people in this village know that their leadership sees that and understands that and supports whatever efforts are needed to grow and become better."

• Staff writer Steve Zalusky contributed to this report

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