A swastika and the word “Trump” were found spray-painted on the exterior of a Lafayette home on Tuesday, according to a press release issued by the city, in what appeared to be an act of politically motivated vandalism.
The homeowner, Katie Peacock, posted a photo of the graffiti to Facebook early Wednesday morning. “As horrendous as this event was the outpouring of support unmeasurably outweighs it,” she wrote.
Peacock, a Joe Biden supporter, asked that her social media post be shared widely, and she encouraged those reading it to vote. Video footage of the home captured by local Fox affiliate KTVU shows a Biden flag flying underneath an American flag in the front yard.
Speaking with KTVU, Seth Brysk, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League for the Central Pacific, said it was “frightening and of deep concern to see this symbol of white supremacy being displayed.”
Earlier this month, the ADL launched a new reporting tool to track hate incidents in the run-up to the election. “We are mindful that some extremists may seek to exploit the divisive political atmosphere in the country,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s national CEO, warned.
The Lafayette Police Department is investigating the graffiti incident, the press release said, and may classify it as a hate crime. The FBI has been contacted.
Mayor Mike Anderson called the swastika a “symbol of oppression, genocide and xenophobia” and said the incident would be “vigorously prosecuted.” Lafayette is a wealthy, mostly white East Bay suburb of about 25,000.
Another photo posted to Twitter by KTVU reporter Henry K. Lee showed graffiti similar to that found on the Peacock home on a highway overpass in nearby Orinda. That graffiti appeared to have been altered to express an anti-Trump message.
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) October 27, 2020