Virginia man charged after taking down Black Lives Matter signs from fence


HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 55-year-old Henrico man accused of ripping down Black Lives Matter signs from someone’s fence has been charged with misdemeanor vandalism after he turned himself in to authorities.

According to police, officers responded to the 2100 block of Kelly Ridge Road for reports of vandalism in the area. The victim reported to police that someone had torn down their Black Lives Matter signs and plexiglass, which was along the outside of their fence.

“Thanks to the community working together, the officer was able to identify the person responsible for removing the signs,” Lt. Matthew Pecka told 8News.

Tom Schaefer, the owner of the fence, told 8News that it makes him sick to his stomach seeing someone do that to his property, but he’s not angry or scared. He says he feels sad for the people who feel the need to do this and has nothing to say to them.

“Show up to your city council meeting, call your elected officials. We need systematic change here, this is a fence people are going to get angry. We need to be the louder voice,” Schaefer said. “This right now, of a person ripping down my sign is the louder voice and I don’t like that. I don’t like that one bit. We need to be the louder voice.”

Stephen B. Safferwich Jr.turned himself in to the county’s Sheriff’s Office and was charged with misdemeanor vandalism in the case.

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