Officials in South Carolina are searching for whoever targeted a series of Charleston buildings—including one named for a victim of the Charleston church massacre—with racist and homophobic graffiti.
At least three sites in the West Ashley neighborhood of Charleston were vandalized this past weekend, including a library named for a victim of the mass murder at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015.
The words "go to hell black women" were reportedly sprayed on a pillar at the Cynthia Graham Hurd Library—formerly the St. Andrews Regional Library—which had been renamed for Cynthia Hurd, a longtime library manager. Hurd was one of the nine worshipers killed by white supremacist Dylann Roof during the 2015 Charlestown church shooting. Roof was subsequently found guilty, and sentenced to death for the murders, earlier this year.
According to ABC affiliate WCIV, the vandalism also included phrases such as "Fuck crackers," and "Fuck da police."
Police are working to determine if the graffiti found at the library is related to similar vandalism reported at a nearby home and an aquatic center that same morning. They have reportedly not yet identified a suspect.
Charleston County media relations coordinator Natalie Hauff told reporters that local staff spent hours on Monday morning cleaning the sites hit by graffiti.
"We were disappointed to see that someone would deface a cherished public institution such as our library," Hauff said.
"There’s no place for this sort of deplorable act in our community," Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl told the Post and Courier newspaper. "Our libraries are places of education and growth for children, and we’ll assist law enforcement in any way possible."