An interracial couple in Stamford, Connecticut is being fined $100-per-day for refusing to remove racist graffiti that was spray-painted on their garage door in January. Heather Lindsay and her husband Lexene Charles say they will not paint over the "N" word that vandals sprayed in big letters on their home until police "do their job." The couple contends the Stamford police department has not aggressively investigated the incident, and they have vowed to leave the graffiti up until they do.
The couple discovered the slur on their garage door on the Saturday before Martin Luther King day. Lindsay, who is white, says her home has been vandalized several times, and claims that three neighbors have called her husband Charles, who is black, racial slurs. "I'd like to find out who did it, because this has to stop," Charles tells ABC 7. But while the perpetrators remain at large, the City of Stamford has issued the couple a 'Notice of Blight Violation', which carries a $100-per-day fine until the graffiti is removed.
Ted Jankowski, the city’s director of public safety, insists local police are conducting a thorough investigation, telling the Stamford Advocate, "The incident that occurred is disgusting and it is something the Stamford Police Department continues to have under investigation. Officers spoke with the homeowner and neighbors immediately but could not find a witness who saw or heard anyone spray painting the sheet-metal garage door. There were few security cameras in the neighborhood and none captured the incident."
But Andre Cayo, the family’s attorney, says police have not aggressively pursued leads, including talking to three neighbors Lindsay says made bigoted remarks toward her husband in the past. "We want those people investigated,” Cayo tells the Stamford Advocate. “We want those doors knocked on. We want their basements to be searched for spray cans.”
Darnell Crosland from the Connecticut NAACP appeared at a press conference outside the couple's home yesterday, telling reporters, "For them to be called nig----, it must be so hurtful that they can easily just erase the board and suffer within, quietly by themselves, and act like nothing happened. And in fact, that’s what the Stamford police asked them to do. They were requested to take the sign down... and to just act normal, like nothing happened."
The blight fines now reportedly total over $3,600. Jankowski, the director of public safety, says the graffiti is disturbing the peace.