Racist graffiti in Lanesborough spurs police investigation

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LANESBOROUGH — Lanesborough Police are investigating a vandalism Wednesday that left racist graffiti spray-painted on a man's garage door.

Police Chief Timothy Sorrell said Thursday that no arrests had been made in what local politicians called an "ugly" incident.

The N-word appeared in black letters against the black resident's white garage door, prompting the police investigation. The longtime resident declined to be interviewed by The Eagle, saying he didn't want to draw more attention to himself.

By Thursday morning, the graffiti had been removed from the door.

Dennis Powell, president of the Berkshire branch of the NAACP, said the man whose house was vandalized has lived there for decades without incident. Powell said he himself is no stranger to the racial slur.

"It's just an awful inner feeling when you're a human being just like anyone else and people don't see you as that," Powell said. "Regardless of how much you contribute."

He said racism has always been around, but he feels it has become more apparent since President Donald Trump took office.

"It's always been here, but it's been more covert, until recently with 45," he said, referring to Trump being the 45th president. "They feel more empowered."

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier said she was embarrassed to learn that something like this happened in her community. "It just shows us once again that we have a lot of work to do when it comes to race relations," she said.

"It's ugly, that's for sure," state Rep. John Barrett III said.

State Sen. Adam Hinds said what's important after incidents like these is "there is a demonstration that the community doesn't tolerate it."

"I know that this community stands up and stands against bias," he said.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.

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