OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — A Clackamas County employee has been charged with a hate crime after police say he painted a swastika on the sidewalk next to a memorial display for a Black man who died inside the county’s jail.
Collin Williams, who is white, was arrested Thursday and also charged with criminal mischief and abuse of a memorial, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. It wasn’t immediately known if Williams, 20, has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.
On Wednesday, Oregon City police received a report that a memorial display near the county’s developmental services building had been vandalized.
The memorial display was the result of a vigil for Jermelle Madison, who was found unresponsive while being held in the jail in June and later died. Madison’s death remains under investigation.
Police asked businesses in the area for surveillance footage of people buying spray paint around when the memorial might have been destroyed. On Thursday, that led police to Madison, and his vehicle. They also found a social media post of the suspect videotaping himself defacing the memorial.
During an interview, Williams admitted to destroying the memorial and painting the swastika, police said.
Detectives filed for a subpoena for Williams’ banking information related to the purchase of spray paint and also recovered cans of spray paint from Williams’ vehicle, police said.