Archives For Graffiti

Teacher has been target of past slurs

AMHERST, Mass. — A black math teacher at Amherst Regional High School has again been the subject of racist graffiti.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that graffiti intended for Carolyn Gardner was on a wall in the boy’s bathroom at school.

Sonji Johnson-Anderson, who says she is Gardner’s sister, says they are hurt and bewildered. She says the community should pressure school administrators to end the graffiti.

An anonymous tip line has been set up on the high school’s website.

Racist graffiti was left in a bathroom in October and on Gardner’s classroom door.

On March 24, a racial slur intended for Gardner was left in a girls’ bathroom.

Principal Mark Jackson says an individual was found responsible for one of the incidents and punished.

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Community forum planned to address recent incidents

George Rodrique/WCVB

BEDFORD, Mass. — A string of anti-Semitic incidents reported at some Bedford schools is forcing schools officials to take action with police, clergy and town officials, according to the Boston Globe.

The Globe reported Thursday that three reported anti-Semitic incidents have been reported in schools this year, including one incident in an elementary school where a student said she was told that since she’s Jewish, her country would be destroyed, and another child was allegedly told she couldn’t have a cracker because Jews don’t believe in Jesus Christ.

“The Bedford Police Department, in partnership with Bedford public Schools, is committed to ending and preventing any further acts of anti-Semitism in our community,”  said in a statement.

The first reported anti-Semitic incident was reported at the high school last fall when “Kill the Jews” and swastikas were spray painted on the walls, the Globe reported.

“”While there have been, at this time, no additional reports of hateful graffiti since last fall and no reports of violence, the Bedford Police Department nonetheless takes any allegations of hate or discrimination seriously, and will investigate any such reports,” Bongiorno said.

A community forum has been scheduled in Bedford on March 20 to address the recent anti-Semitic incidents, the Globe reported.

Swastikas, obscenities painted on homes, cars

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. —Police in Middleborough are investigating after swastikas and obscenities were spray-painted on at least four homes and nine cars in one neighborhood over the weekend.

The vandalism was discovered Saturday morning by an officer on patrol.

Lt. Robert D. Ferreira Jr. said the graffiti appears to be random and not aimed at specific people or families, and it does not appear as if the swastikas were aimed at Jewish families.

There was no word on any suspects or arrests.

Sharon Sherman tells The Enterprise her home and car were vandalized. She attributed the graffiti to kids “just being stupid.”

Most of residents hit cleaned up the graffiti on their own.

Swastikas, graffiti painted on family’s home

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield police are investigating whether a hate crime occurred when someone spray-painted swastikas and other graffiti on a city family’s home.

Richard Rodriguez says two swastikas, what appeared to be gallows and other offensive symbols were drawn on visible sections of his vinyl-sided residence overnight on Feb. 2.

Rodriguez, who tells The Berkshire Eagle he’s of Puerto Rican descent, has since painted over the graffiti.

He believes his home was targeted.

Although he has lived in Pittsfield for 14 years and never had a problem, he’s lived in his current home with his 12-year-old son just a few months.

He has beefed up security at the home, installing motion-sensing, outdoor floodlights.

Teen’s mom, Andrea Brazier, was prime suspect

LUNENBURG, Mass. — There is not enough evidence to file criminal charges against the prime suspect in a racial graffiti case in Lunenburg, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. announced Wednesday, prompting outrage from some in the town.

Watch report

Investigators identified alleged victim’s mother, Andrea Brazier, as the primary suspect in painting racial slurs on her home, which were blamed on the school football team by the family.

“We have notified the Lunenburg Police Department that the evidence presented to us fails to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed by a particular person,” Early said.

Lunenburg police were called to the family’s home on Nov. 15 after a racial slur was found painted on the back of their home. At the time, Brazier said it was directed at her son, Isaac Phillips, because is an African-American.

The family initially accused the Lunenburg High School football team, which Phillips played for, of painting the slur.

In the weeks that followed, hundreds rallied around the family and Gov. Deval Patrick offered his personal support.

Citing safety concerns, Superintendent of Schools Loxi Jo Calmes canceled the remainder of the football season, including the Thanksgiving Day game.

The football team was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

“I’m beyond angry,” said Les Szabady whose son Danny is captain of the football team. “Here’s what I don’t understand: the district attorney says we don’t know how to charge this. Well, you started as a hate crime, finish it as a hate crime. What better example of hate than doing something this horrible and blaming it on kids.”

Phillips has since left the Lunenburg school system and attending school in Leominister.

“What really makes us mad is that to this day we still don’t have an apology to the kids, their families or their coaches from the school or the town,” said Szbady.

Investigators target teen’s mom in racist graffiti probe

Investigators are looking closely at the mother of a Lunenburg teen whose home had racist graffiti sprayed on it last month, according to court documents.

LUNENBURG, Mass. —Investigators are looking closely at the mother of a Lunenburg teen whose home had racist graffiti sprayed on it last month, according to court documents.

According to the search warrant, Isaac Phillip’s mother, Andrea Brazier, replied “OK” when an FBI agent said she was the one who spray painted graffiti on the house.

The documents also claim Brazier made false statements and then asked them to stop the investigation.

Police took a bag of evidence out of the home where “Knights Don’t Need (N-Words)” was spray-painted on the family’s home. Phillips, who’s biracial, plays football for the Lunenburg Blue Knights.

According to the search warrant, two cans of spray paint and ammunition were found in home.

Watch report

“You’re not going to get anything from me besides no comment. I already said everything I had to say,” the teen’s father, Antony Phillips, said.

The family posted a “No Trespassing” sign on their property, and the once-outspoken Phillips aren’t talking anymore.

From the start, they blamed hateful spray paint on their 13-year old son’s football team. They said he was hazed because he is bi-racial.

The town held a vigil, and the district canceled all future football games. Investigators have since cleared the team, saying they weren’t involved.

“I think it’s kind of gross what they did and how they stood back and watched us all take the blame. It wasn’t anyone on the football team, and everyone’s affected by it,” football player Gregg McGrath said.

When police showed up on the Phillips’ doorstep with a search warrant Tuesday, members of the football team, along with others in the community, stood outside to watch.

Police won’t say what they were looking for in the home, only that they are in the midst of the investigation and determined to bring it to a close.

Officials spent an hour inside the home Tuesday.


Mass. State Police appear to serve search warrant

Lunenburg, Mass. —Massachusetts State Police appeared to have served a search warrant Tuesday at the Lunenburg home of a football player whose house was spray painted with racial graffiti.

Watch NewsCenter 5’s report

It was not known why police were at the home of Isaac Phillips.  Police on Monday said an arrest in the case was imminent.

Phillips, a 13-year-old football player, found a racial epithet spray-painted on his home on Nov 22.  Phillips’ father is African-American and his mother is white.

Police said there was no conclusive evidence that links present members of the Lunenburg High School football team to the hate crime, police said on Monday.

“We haven’t found any conclusive evidence linking any present member of the Lunenburg High School football team to the hate crime,” Police Chief James Marino said.

“I would go so far as to say that I’m confident a football player wasn’t involved,” Marino said.

Marino said that he believed that there would be a conclusion to the investigation.

“The town has been accused of something that maybe one person was responsible for. I feel that a lot of people out there need to be vindicated. We’re working really hard to do that,” he said.

The teen, who played on the school’s freshman and junior varsity football teams, said some team members hazed him and claims the coaches didn’t do enough to stop it.

The police statement “relates only to the graffiti painted on a resident’s home and has nothing whatsoever to do with any football game related issues that have been investigated by the school district,” Marino said.

The school district ended the team’s season after the allegations of racism.

Les Szabady, the father of the co-captain of the team, said they always knew the team was not involved in the incident of racial graffiti.

“When they canceled the Thanksgiving game, he was devastated. It was awful. No parent should see his kid sob for three hours,” Szabady said. “Our Thanksgiving tradition was ruined. So I know it’s a lot to ask, but if we could save that, it would be fantastic. It would be one good way — everyone wants healing — that would be step one.”

Phillips has since left the Lunenburg school system and attending school in Leominister.


Racial epithet spray-painted on teen’s home


Lunenburg High School’s football season is over after allegations of racism by some of the players, the superintendent said Monday.

The forfeiture comes after a player was the target of racist graffiti.

The 13-year-old football player found a racial epithet spray-painted on his home Friday. Isaac’s father is African-American and his mother is white. They met with school officials Monday.

“No, we didn’t get any satisfaction. If anything we’re more mad. It almost feels like we need to get a lawyer or something,” Anthony Phillips said.

Isaac’s parents said their meeting with Lunenburg school officials about the racist graffiti gives them no satisfaction.

They said it’s not clear how the school is going to handle the problem. They said they are also upset because the school was aware of previous reports about players using racist language.

“There’s allegations against your team, then this happens on my son’s house, a month before his tires get slashed. How many things have to happen before something is done?” Anthony Phillips asked. “There’s a few kids, there’s two, three bad seeds, you know, that is ruining this, you know. It’s not the whole team.”

The family said they’re grateful and encouraged by the outpouring of support at a vigil that was held Sunday night on the town common, but more needs to be done so their son once again feels accepted.

“He’s not himself, obviously. He doesn’t know who to trust. Obviously it hasn’t come out who it is, doesn’t know who to believe and doesn’t want to be here,” Isaac’s mother said.

The family got a call from Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday.

“I told him I was angry. The governor said, ‘I can hear it in your voice,'” Anthony Phillips said. “He told me to hang in there.”

The teen, who plays on Lunenburg High School’s freshman and junior varsity football teams, said some team members have hazed him before and claims the coaches didn’t do enough to stop it.

“It is helpful to know that they’re here for me,” said Isaac. “I don’t know who to trust, and I’m confused on why my coaches haven’t reached out to me. We’re supposed to be a team.”

Lunenburg Police Chief James Marino said the department is seeking tips from the public about the hate crime.

Meanwhile, officials confirmed that the school is investigating allegations of use of racial slurs by a Lunenburg player during a game in Worcester two weeks ago.

“Football is not just a sport. It is my life,” Isaac said.

Tolerance vigil to be held at town gazebo

Police investigate racist graffiti aimed at eighth grader

Lunenburg, Mass. —The Anti-Defamation League New England Region has condemned the alleged hate crime targeting a 13-year-old Lunenburg football player and his family.

Racist graffiti was discovered Friday spray painted on the home of Isaac Phillips. His mother is white and his father is black.

Phillips’ mother, Andrea Brazier, called police who then notified the school. Superintendent Loxi Jo Calmes decided Friday afternoon to indefinitely postpone that night’s football game against Oakmont Regional until the suspects came forward.

The family said in addition to the graffiti, Phillip’s cleats were taken from his locker and thrown in a trash can. The same day a tire on his bicycle was slashed in the school parking lot.

The ADL said the case is indicative of how school bullying can quickly escalate to a hate crime and civil rights violations.

“This brazen attack on the home of a high school football player warrants everyone’s condemnation. All of us should be disturbed by this case. Our children retreat to their homes every day because of the safety it offers. Too often hate crimes shatter our communities’ sense of safety,” said ADL Regional Director Robert Trestan.

The group said they have offered their support to both police and school leaders to make it clear that hate will not be tolerated.

“We applaud the Lunenburg police for making this case a top priority and are confident that the offenders will be quickly apprehended,” Trestan said.

On Sunday night a vigil was scheduled to be held at the town’s gazebo. Calmes announced on her Twitter page that the event was to, “Speak out for tolerance, mutual respect and diversity in Lunenburg.”


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