Mayor Michael O’Connor responds to recent vandalism

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Frederick County Executive, Jan Gardner, also released a statement

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Racist images and messages were written throughout the city of Frederick as well as the county over the weekend.

The mayor for the city of Frederick, Michael O’Connor, released a statement Monday stating that the images and posts are “disturbing and alarming.” Spray paint, stickers, and images were found on landmarks and facilities. O’Connor said that this act of hate is not welcomed here in Frederick.

“We will continue to speak the message that needs to be spoken with regards to what kind of a community we want to be in Frederick,” said Mayor O’Connor. “And we will respond to hate wherever it comes. We hope that we will disappear, but it won’t disappear easily and it won’t disappear without work from a lot of people. We are going to work hard to make sure we are the community that we want to be and we are a community that is reflective of and be accepting of everyone who has a right to be here.

The Department of Public Works has removed the images and remarks.

Here is Mayor O’Connor full statement:

“On Saturday morning, I awoke to find disturbing, alarming, and racist images and messages posted throughout our City and the County. Immediately, I directed our Department of Public Works to move quickly in the removal of spray paint, stickers, and other materials from our local landmarks and facilities. Many community members also joined the efforts to remove these items, to whom I say thank you.These actions are counter to our community’s growth, as we continue to have honest and hard conversations and work to end racial injustice. We, as a community, have work to do. This work requires all of us…our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, and family members. The graffiti displayed this weekend is not the Frederick we aspire to be. I urge our community to continue with individual and collaborative reflection to identify and remove unconscious biases and to help build a community that is welcoming and just for all. My administration is committed through our current work to addressing diversity and inclusion, ending disparities, and serving all in our community with dignity, respect, and fairness.”

The Frederick Police Department was also notified.

Frederick County Executive, Jan Gardner, also released a statement:

“Over the weekend, numerous cases of graffiti, stickers, and messages with racist and anti-Semitic images were found in many areas of the City of Frederick and around Frederick County, both on public and private property. I often share my belief that Frederick County is a caring community. I witness the goodwill, generosity and kindness of this community every day. The images that appeared this weekend are ugly and hateful and do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be. There simply is no room for racism or hate in our community.In recent weeks, people of all ages, races, and backgrounds have joined together to demand change to end racial injustice and secure the promise of America – fairness and justice for all. I am filled with hope and optimism for meaningful change. But, it is clear that this effort will need a broader conversation to changes hearts and minds.Next week, the conversation begins with a virtual town hall on racial equity on Monday, July 6. It is just the beginning to lay a foundation to discuss and address inequities in education, health, jobs, and more. Please join us. The time is now to do more than simply remove the words and graffiti. It’s time for change.

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