Police searching for person of interest after Norman targeted with racist graffiti, hate messages

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NORMAN, Okla. – Swastikas, hate speech and racist graffiti covered parts of Norman on Wednesday morning. It was a shocking sight for many residents throughout the community of Norman . “I was just shocked, stunned, in fact,” said Krystal Golding-Ross, Chair of the Cleveland County Democratic Party. “I’m still almost speechless.” McKinley Elementary School, the Firehouse Arts Center and the Cleveland County Democratic Headquarters were all covered in racial slurs and hate-filled messages. “I am Jewish by heritage, so it is particularly frustrating to me to see things like this that seem very disjointed,” said Kate Bierman, a member of the Norman City Council. After seeing the messages, the community came together to clean up the vandalism. “This isn’t who we are and I know this isn’t who we are going to be,” said Bierman. All three locations are within a close proximity to one another, so police believe they are all connected. “It’s not something we stand for in our community, so we as law enforcement are working together actively,” said Sarah Jensen, with the Norman Police Department. The latest round of vandalism comes less than a week after a very similar case in Oklahoma City.
Norman police say they are working with Oklahoma City authorities after a surveillance camera captured a person of interest in the Norman case. Investigators believe she is the same woman who left racist graffiti at the Democratic headquarters as well as the Chickasaw Nation buildings in Oklahoma City last week. They say they are certain that all of the cases are connected. Late Wednesday, Oklahoma City police released new surveillance video of a similar-looking woman outside the Chickasaw Headquarters on Lincoln Blvd. They want to talk to her in connection with the racist graffiti there. Many folks in Norman say they want to strike back with love and show others that hate doesn’t belong here. “When you assume the worst about people you disagree with, it leads to this kind of behavior and that’s not acceptable,” said Bierman. “Blind hatred towards people you have never met based on their country of origin, their nationality, their sexual orientation or their race is absolutely not OK and we’ve got to start changing the conversation around that,” said Golding-Ross. Golding-Ross also has a message for the alleged vandal. “Please, educate yourself and learn to channel your emotions in a more positive way,” said Golding-Ross. “There are ways to disagree with people without resorting to acts of vandalism, violence.” If you recognize the woman in the video, give police a call.

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