The University Police Department received a report that a racial slur was painted on a sidewalk and roadway at the corner of 14th Street and John Street Friday morning just before 5 a.m.
University Spokesperson Brian Coy said UPD officers located the graffiti and immediately coordinated with the City to have the language removed — Charlottesville Public Works later covered the messaging just before 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The area falls within joint jurisdiction of the City of Charlottesville and the University.
“The University opposes racism and discrimination in all forms, and we are ready to offer support and resources to members of our community who may be struggling due to this or other incidents of racial bias,” Coy said.
This incident comes amid community unrest following the vandalization of the Office of African American Affairs building Aug. 19, when two bricks were thrown through the building’s windows, and a hate crime that occured the night of Sept. 7 when a noose was found around the neck of the Homer Statue on South Lawn. UPD and the local Federal Bureau of Investigation are still investigating the hate crime and are offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who provides information helpful in solving the crime.
Unlike the OAAA vandalism and hate crime, a community alert was not issued for the sidewalk vandalization. Per University policy, community alerts are shared via email to the University community when there is timely information about a threat that can be released to the community without compromising any ongoing investigations. The Clery Act federal law requires the University to issue community alerts when a Clery Act crime is committed in a Clery Act Reportable Location.
For instances not occuring within the University’s Clery geography, the assistant vice president for Clery compliance or the associate vice president for safety and security and chief of police may choose to issue community alerts for incidents that constitute a serious or ongoing threat — even if the notification is not required and did not occur on Grounds.
Coy said the vandalism took place outside the University’s Clery geography — meaning on-Grounds properties and University-owned and controlled properties used for educational purposes — and was not determined to involve an ongoing threat.