'Black Lives Matter' Signs Vandalized With KKK Imagery Across Massachusetts Town

Police in the Massachusetts town of Arlington are investigating after a number of Black Lives Matter signs were vandalized with Ku Klux Klan imagery.

Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty said Monday the department had received reports of four incidents of "malicious vandalism" targeting signs expressing support for Black Lives Matter.

Police said two Black Lives Matter signs and one mural were destroyed at Arlington's Cavalry Church. Elsewhere, a KKK sticker showing a Klansman wearing a white robe and mask on a horse with a torch was stuck to a "Black Lives Matter" lawn sign at a private residence.

A similar sticker was also stuck to a ''Hate Has No Home Here" lawn sign at a second property in East Arlington.

Officers also responded to a Black Lives Matter banner displayed at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church that had been altered to read "ALL Lives Matter."

Police said that while these latest incidents occurred in recent days, there have been several Black Lives Matter signs stolen, egged, or vandalized over the past few weeks.

"We are thoroughly investigating these incidents," Chief Flaherty said in a statement. "The hurtful messages far outweigh the physical damage done and underscore the work that needs to be done to make Arlington a truly supportive and welcoming town."

The vandalism has been condemned by officials in Arlington.

"The Arlington Human Rights Commission is appalled at this pattern of racist destruction, defacement, and vandalism," Sharon Grossman and Kristen Bauer, Arlington Human Rights Commission co-chairs, said in a statement.

"The Commission has formed a working group to explore responses and ways to support the community."

"The Board is extremely disappointed to see these acts of vandalism," said John Hurd, Arlington Select Board Chair.

"It is a painful reminder that racism exists in Arlington and reinforces the Town's commitment to further promote diversity, equity and inclusion in Town. We appreciate the work the Arlington Police Department investigating this matter."

Sandy Pooler, acting town manager, added: "These acts of vandalism and attacks on free speech are unacceptable. The Town supports Black Lives Matter and all those who express those sentiments."

Arlington Police are actively investigating these incidents and are asking anyone with information to call the department at 781-643-1212 or report it via Tip411.

The department has been contacted for an update in the investigation.

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(File photo) A demonstrator raises the fist next to a placard in Nantes, on June 8, 2020, during a 'Black Lives Matter' worldwide protests against racism and police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Police in the Virginian town of Arlington are investigating after a number of BLM signs were vandalized and targeted with Ku Klux Klan imagery. Loic VENANCE / AFP/Getty