After their property was vandalized with a racial slur, an interracial couple in Connecticut is paying $100 a day in city fines until police investigate the crime.
Last month, someone spray painted the N-word on the couple's garage door. The vandalism occurred during the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend, and the couple says the police haven't done enough to solve the crime.
Heather Lindsay and Lexene Charles have had their property vandalized several times in the past, and Lindsay told the New York Post she wouldn't clean it off until the authorities do something about the crime and "not just cover it up and sweep it under the table as they have done in the past."
Lindsay also said that even their own neighbors in the Stamford, Connecticut, community have shouted racist obscenities at Charles, who is black.
“That’s why we’re leaving it up,” she said. “Because I’ve had it."
Lindsay continued, "This is a racist community. It’s just gotten more and more aggressive.”
But now that they've received a blight citation, which the city can hand down if any structure does not meet their standards, they will owe $100 each day they go without cleaning up the graffiti.
Authorities have said that they are fully investigating the case, but after speaking with homeowners in the area, they say there are no witnesses to help build their investigation. Stamford Public Safety Director Ted Jankowski said they even reviewed security cameras in the area and came up empty. "The incident that occurred is disgusting and it is something the Stamford Police Department continues to have under investigation," he told the Stamford Advocate.
According to Jankowski, Stamford Police Chief Jon Fontneau has personally offered to remove the graffiti for free, but the couple refused. "The neighbors were very upset when the incident occurred and truly felt for the couple,” Jankowski said. "However, the residents who have condemned the racial incident are upset and are complaining about continuing to see the racial slur and how it is disturbing the peace in the quiet neighborhood."
The couple's attorney, Andre Cayo, said the neighbors who have shouted racial obscenities at Charles in the past should be more thoroughly investigated. "We want those people investigated. We want those doors knocked on. We want their basements to be searched for spray cans," he said.
The house has a foreclosure trial scheduled for March 7.
Stamford NAACP President Jack Bryant weighed in on the matter, saying that the incident will have a lasting effect on the community.
“One of Stamford’s strengths is the diversity of its population,” Bryant added. “We all should feel safe and comfortable living here, no matter what race.”