NORMAN, Okla. – Police are investigating after multiple places in Norman were vandalized with racist graffiti.
According to the Norman Police Department, police are investigating three reports of vandalism that happened overnight Wednesday at the Firehouse Art Center, Cleveland County’s Democratic Party headquarters and McKinley Elementary School.
Norman police say all three incidents are currently under investigation, but have not released any other details.
Sources tell News 4 the graffiti reportedly includes Swastika drawings, neo-Nazi messages, and death threats spray painted on the ground and windows.
The Oklahoma Democratic Party released a statement following the incident:
“Bigotry and hate have no place in our communities. The Oklahoma Democratic Party is disgusted by these cowardly attacks of hatred. We must send a message that racism will not be tolerated in our communities and take a stand against those fanning the fans of nationalism and bigotry.
Hatred is not a partisan issue and runs counter to our American values. Our diversity is what makes our country and state strong. Communities and leaders must work together, not lose hope, and speak up for those targeted by hate and bigotry.”
Dave Spaulding, the chairman of the Cleveland County Republican Party, released the following statement:
“Regardless of our differing political views, we should all hold ourselves and our neighbors to a higher standard. We pride ourselves on having ‘Oklahoma values’. Treating each other with respect, regardless of political affiliation, is something we can all agree upon. My heart is saddened to learn of this defacement on the Democratic party headquarters and upon the school buildings, artwork and parks where children go every day.”
Anyone with information can contact Norman police at (405)366-6447 or Norman Crime Stoppers at (405)366-7867.
Police in Oklahoma City are also investigating a similar case.
Last week, the Oklahoma Democratic Party’s headquarters and the Chickasaw Nation’s headquarters in Oklahoma City were vandalized with racist graffiti.
Authorities say they are wanting to question a woman in connection to that case.
Congresswoman Kendra Horn released a statement saying:
“I’m heartbroken and troubled to see another display of hate and white supremacy in our state, less than a week after similar vandalism left hateful messages at the Chickasaw Nation and Democratic Party headquarters in Oklahoma City. Law enforcement is still investigating, but regardless of intent, subjecting Oklahomans – especially children – to these images is deeply damaging. This behavior empowers those who hold hate-filled beliefs.
Hate lays the groundwork for violence, and these attacks fan the flame.
Attempts to break our communities won’t work. We won’t sit by and allow hate to take the driver’s seat. As we always have, Oklahomans will come together to show that love is stronger than hate. We will stand up against demonstrations of division. We will treat the affected with love and empathy. And we will continue to show that embracing our differences makes us stronger as a community, not weaker.”
Congressman Tom Cole released the following statement after Wednesday’s vandalism:
“Just days after last week’s hateful vandalism in Oklahoma City, I am incredibly disheartened to hear about three more similar and senseless acts in Norman. I strongly condemn the cowardly and hateful defacement of the Firehouse Art Center, McKinley Elementary and the Cleveland County Democratic Party Headquarters. Such despicable and hate-filled language and symbols have no place in our communities, and I am especially horrified that one of these cases was present at an elementary school. No one, especially young and innocent children, should have to encounter such hate. In the days ahead, I remain confident in law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure justice is served.”
It is unknown if the cases are related at this time.
If you have information on the Oklahoma City case, call Crime Stoppers at (405)235-7300.