10 Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Locations Spray-Painted With Hate Graffiti
🔴 The graffiti happened around 2:30 a.m. at locations Portsmouth Police believe were intentionally targeted
🔴 Portsmouth Mayor Deaglan McEachern called these acts "hateful & disgusting", and wants the perpetrators brought to justice.
🔴 Police asked residents to check their home surveillance video in case they may have captured the artists of hate in action
At least ten locations in downtown Portsmouth were marked with swastikas, hate symbols, and political messages early Tuesday night.
Portsmouth Police said the intentional targets, including houses of worship, were hit around 2:30 a.m. in an area that includes Deer Street, Middle Street, Court Street, and Marcy Street.
"The Portsmouth Police Department takes hate motivated crimes very seriously and is actively engaged in the investigation of this incident," police wrote on their Facebook page.
Workers at Cup of Joe Cafe on Market Street, which is owned by Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Joanna Kelly, were greeted by a red swastika spray painted onto the front window of their store.
"As we prepare to celebrate our fifth year in business, we will not be scared into silence. We will demand justice, we will not fear hate, and we will continue our mission," Kelly wrote.
"Hateful & disgusting acts"
Portsmouth Mayor Deaglan McEachern called these acts "hateful & disgusting", and wants the perpetrators brought to justice.
"Silence in the face of these crimes means siding with the perpetrator, and these crimes do not represent the beliefs of our city. Our community takes pride in declaring ourselves a Racial Justice Municipality, but recently we have been a target for those that would seek to destroy the ideals we strive to live up to. I want to state clearly that this has only strengthened our resolve to be the City of the Open Door."
Attorney General John Formella said this "hateful and threatening criminal activity will not be tolerated."
"We will work to find and prosecute whoever is responsible, to the fullest extent of the law. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office along with our local, State, and Federal law enforcement partners, encourage anyone with information to come forward. Our communities are safer and stronger when we all join together and have zero tolerance for violence motivated by hatred for our fellow citizens whether based on race, creed, or other protected characteristics," Formella said in a statement.
Police asked residents to check their home surveillance video in case they may have captured the artists of hate in action.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH