Six racist paper signs with the phrases “white lives matter” and “no white guilt” were taped to road signs in a Columbia neighborhood earlier this week , Howard County police said.
The Harper’s Choice neighborhood was vandalized Tuesday on the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer.
Police spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn said officers and the Department of Public Works worked to take down the signs after they were reported. Llewellyn said officers were on the scene for about an hour.
Llewellyn said there were six paper signs noted in the police report that were affixed with adhesive to road signs.
Police said no cameras in the area show the signs being posted, but the incident remains under investigation.
Harper’s Choice Community Association Chair Rebecca Beall wrote that the action underlines the need for a larger conversation.
“These emboldened expressions of resentment should not be allowed to grow in our community,” Beall wrote in a letter posted on the association’s website Wednesday. “This will not be the last communication that you will see from us on this matter. We are beginning to plan structures and provide opportunities for our community to gather, to listen, and to deliberately reflect on our vision of Harper’s Choice as an exceptional neighborhood for all.”
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said in a statement Friday that the incident shows the work that lies ahead to eliminate racism and hate from the community.
“On the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, it was deeply upsetting to see this type of vandalism in our community,” Ball said in a statement. “As a county that prides itself on its diversity of people and cultures, we will not be intimidated by these cowardly acts to bring attention to hateful rhetoric..”