Graffiti was discovered Tuesday at the same Carroll County site where a vandal infamously spray-painted a misspelled “NO ILLEAGLES” message nearly six years ago.
The message visible April 21 reads, “TRADE RIGHTS FOR ‘SAFETY’ YOU WILL GET NEITHER. THINK FOR YOUR SELF,” followed by a peace symbol and a heart. The graffiti was painted on the side of the former U.S. Army Reserve Center on Malcolm Drive, just outside the city limits of Westminster.
Almost six years ago, in July 2014, the same wall was spray-painted with the message, “NO ILLEAGLES HERE NO UNDOCUMENTED DEMOCRATS" after it was learned that the federal government was considering the site as a temporary shelter for undocumented immigrant children. That plan did not materialize.
Police investigated the vandalism as a possible hate crime, but no one was charged.
It is not clear Tuesday when the 2020 message was first painted or whether it was made by the same person or people behind the 2014 graffiti.
County spokesperson Chris Winebrenner said the county Department of Public Works covered the message Tuesday and will pressure wash the wall Wednesday.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office took a report on the incident, spokesperson Tim Brown said. He did not describe a suspect, and he did not know if there were security cameras in the area. As of Tuesday, the Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack wasn’t aware of receiving any calls about the graffiti, possibly because more people are at home. A duty officer for MSP who began his shift at 6 a.m. said just after noon they hadn’t had anyone call about it that day.
The site, formerly owned by the federal government, was transferred to Carroll County after being declared surplus, with the stipulation that it be used for public safety use. A public safety use for the building was never found.
The Carroll County Veterans Independence Project sought to make the site a veterans service center and homeless shelter but were repeatedly denied at the federal level, so in February, the county voted to put the building up for public sale.
The building is owned by Carroll County until it is sold by the federal government, a process that is ongoing, Winebrenner said.