JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska police are investigating racist graffiti in the woods near a Juneau middle school as a hate crime.
The graffiti near Floyd Dryden Middle School is described by police as including “hateful and vulgar messages.” The markings were reported to the department on Wednesday, KTOO-FM reported.
Retired teacher Janna Lelchuk and her husband were walking their dogs at Adair-Kennedy Park last weekend when they stumbled upon the racist and obscene graffiti in white spray paint on a bridge and trees.
“There were horrible things written,” Lelchuk said. “Like, all over. And what really shocked me and surprised me there was this A-L-M sign, which absolutely didn’t go along with what was, you know, on the bridge or with all the writings and all the pictures.”
A-L-M stands for “All Lives Matter,” the television station reported.
Lelchuk took photos of the graffiti and posted them in a public social media group.
Local residents organized a group to clean up the graffiti after the public post.
“You know, when we went out there to clean it, they had a sporting event going on,” Juneau resident Chelsea Elliott said. “There were kids wandering around the trees and stuff right around that area. Lots of families and younger kids that can see stuff like that.”
Juneau Police Lt. Krag Campbell said are investigating the graffiti as a hate crime.
“There’s an emotional side of it that damages people who see that,” Campbell said. “And we just want to make sure that we understand, that people understand this. This is not okay. It’s not okay to do these types of things. And it impacts a lot of people.”