Authorities are investigating a recent spate of graffiti in Groton, Massachusetts, that in some cases included vulgarity and racism, police said.
The graffiti, which varied from location to location and was found over the weekend, is being investigated as a hate crime, police said.
"We are currently investigating several incidents of property damage and defacing that occurred Saturday night into Sunday morning," Groton Police Chief Mike Luth said on Monday. "Among the damage discovered were racist and homophobic graffiti, as well as a swastika."
The swastika was found spray-painted on a road in the predominantly white Middlesex County community, while the "N-word" and other obscene graffiti was found on a shed by the tennis courts at the Groton Country Club.
The Groton Select Board issued a statement saying, "While this does not represent our community as a whole it is painful evidence of the work we need to do as a community."
"You have to call these things out and make the community aware that incidents like this are occurring on a daily basis, not just in our community, but nationwide," Groton Selectboard Vice-Chair Joshua Degen said on Monday.
Degen said the town owns the country club and has cleaned up the hate-filled graffiti. He believes Groton needs to create a task force that he says can combat this type of ignorance with education.
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"If you're not willing to look at life as every day being a school day and what you can learn new and what, as a child, you can learn and come home and teach your parents, you need to be able to do things like that," Degen said.
He challenges the person or people behind the racist graffiti to come forward and explain themselves.
"Who did you learn this from? Why do you feel that you're better than anyone else? What makes anyone that is not your color skin or your religion any better or any worse than you," he asked.
Another Groton resident also expressed his disgust with the graffiti.
"I think it's disgusting and it's gross, and I don't think that it represents our town at all," resident Jamie Glennie said.
Anyone with information on the graffiti or who may have home surveillance that could help police in their investigation is urged to contact Groton Det. Patrick Timmins at 978-448-5555.