KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — Several homeowners aren’t going to let hate speech silence their voices.
This comes after political yard signs, cars and homes were spray-painted with the letters KKK.
The victims are minorities, but they feel this crime is politically motivated. They’re Democrats — and that’s why they feel they were targeted.
Monica Fowler proudly displays the candidates she supports in her yard. In an unfortunate sign of times, someone tried to quiet her voice in the form of three hateful letters.
“It was disturbing to think how comfortable a person can be, sitting on my property writing KKK on each individual sign,” she said.
The vandalism didn’t stop there. Cars, homes and trailers were all hit with the same graffiti.
“Lived here my entire life, never seen anything like this in Kokomo,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight.
He blames the vandalism on a contentious political climate.
“I just want them to know that we take this very seriously,” Goodnight said.
The mayor said police patrols have increased in the area where the crimes occurred, and the FBI was notified.
“The only part that’s frightening is not knowing who did it,” said Nikki Billingsley, another victim.
One of her signs was tagged, but she simply flipped it around.
“You didn’t change my mind on who I’m going to vote for,” she said to whoever was responsible.
Fowler replaced her signs and said neighbors and strangers have been reaching out to help clean cars and houses. Some brought power washers; others brought material to remove paint. It’s a positive sign that negativity won’t take over their block.
“It makes me feel good that we can actually come together during something that was designed to bring us down or break us apart,” Fowler said.