Bridge Grafitti

Frederick city crews used a darker shade of red paint to cover graffiti on the front side of the covered bridge over Carroll Creek on West Second Street that was discovered Saturday morning. Another bridge in Baker Park as well as a small building and sidewalks were also vandalized with racist graffiti.

Racist graffiti and vandalism discovered over the weekend revealed the work that still has to be done about racial relations in Frederick County, officials said Monday.

On Friday and Saturday, people in the city and in parts of the county found graffiti with racial slurs and offensive symbols, as well as stickers with slogans touting white supremacy.

“On Saturday morning, I awoke to find disturbing, alarming, and racist images and messages posted throughout our city and our county,” Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor said in a statement Monday.

O'Connor said he immediately sent the city's Department of Public Works to remove the spray paint, stickers and other materials, but said cleaning up the damage was only the beginning.

“These actions are counter to our community's growth, as we continue to have honest and hard conversations and work to end racial injustice,” he said. “We, as a community have work to do. This work requires all of us...our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, and family members.”

Alderman Derek Shackelford said the real challenge comes with making institutional changes that have been talked about for a hundred years.

“This is the easy part to confront,” Shackelford said about confronting the hateful content from the weekend.

The hard part comes with putting people into boardrooms, classrooms and elected office who are capable of solving the problems, he said.

Frederick police received reports beginning Friday evening, mostly about stickers on signs in downtown Frederick with white supremacist messages, Lt. Andrew Alcorn said Monday.

They also got calls about graffiti on a bridge over Rosemont Avenue, Alcorn said, and graffiti at four locations in Baker Park.

Police are reviewing security camera footage and asking the community for help in identifying who is responsible for the damage, as well as checking with other departments in the county, state and region to check for similar incidents, Alcorn said.

Public Works crews were sent out to the Baker Park bandshell, the area around Culler Lake, a bridge, and a tunnel in the park between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday morning, city spokeswoman Ashley Waters said.

Some of the vandalism was washed off with chemicals and a power washer, while some was painted over, she said.

Incidents were also reported in various parts of the county, including the Lake Linganore area.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for information on the county incidents.

It's unfortunate that people have defaced public property, said Frederick Alderman Roger Wilson, and he hopes police can find the people responsible.

People can find different ways to make their voice heard, “but this is unacceptable,” Wilson said.

The country has been dealing with the social and economic effects of a pandemic, as well as racial tensions unleashed by the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks, Wilson said.

“The city of Frederick is not immune to that,” he said.

It's important to understand that while the truly horrific displays of racism, homophobia, and white supremacy that have been found recently in the city and county recently don't define Frederick, they're also not a fluke or the work of one angry or isolated person, Alderman Ben MacShane said Monday.

Seeing the damage done over the weekend needs to be a motivation to continue the work of fighting systemic racism and how it's institutionalized in the city, MacShane said.

The hard thing about systemic racism is that it doesn't require a person to be consciously perpetuating it, but can be seen in the way people hire, do business, and prioritize issues, he said.

The city has started the process of evaluating processes so it can start to dismantle the systemic racism in its midst, but there's still work to do, he said.

County Executive Jan Gardner issued a statement Monday condemning the graffiti and vandalism in the city and county.

“I often share my belief that Frederick County is a caring community,” Gardner said. “I witness the goodwill, generosity and kindness of this community every day. The images that appeared this weekend are ugly and hateful and do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be. There simply is no room for racism or hate in our community...In recent weeks, people of all ages, races, and backgrounds have joined together to demand change to end racial injustice and secure the promise of America – fairness and justice for all. I am filled with hope and optimism for meaningful change. But, it is clear that this effort will need a broader conversation to change hearts and minds.”

On Monday, the county announced a virtual town hall scheduled for July 6 to discuss inequities in education, health, jobs, and other areas.

Frederick County Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater said she had constituents send her photos of the damage in parts of the county.

The vandalism is completely unacceptable, Fitzwater said, and needs to be spoken out against and not treated as just another example of spray-painting on property.

Everyone has to speak out when they see overt acts like this, but also less obvious racist and homophobic actions, she said.

Fitzwater said that while it's disgusting that people still have to deal with this sort of thing, it's consistent with things happening in other places.

“I want to say I'm surprised, but it's not like this isn't something that's being seen all over the country, unfortunately,” she said.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at

(66) comments


Any way you look at it this is vandalism and the people should be charged. They could be charged with a hate crime or vandalism depending upon what the court decides. I would say that racial slurs would be considered as a hate crime and any other type of slurs or pictures would be just vandalism but that is just my opinion I am not a lawyer or a judge. I don't approve of any type or vandalism or destruction of property no matter what.


I'll reserve judgment until all the facts are in. The Jussie Smollett episode is still very fresh in my mind. The false noose sightings are fresher still. The Salisbury University racial graffiti is yet another example.

Business Owner

And let's not forget the Duke Lacrosse team. Facts are stubborn things -- let's find them. Wise reply jloo.


When I saw the title, I assumed this was about Trump retweeting a video with his supporter yelling "White Power". Such a role model.

PurplePickles aka L&M

I wonder how the people that were doing the spray painting felt as they were defacing property, did it give them a thrill, did it make them feel more powerful more alive, more privileged?

Vandalism is a cowardly act, an immature act really. it's the actions of someone who is a coward and hasn't fully matured, a true grown-up would have never done such a thing, trying to create hate, trying to sow discord among the real grownups.

Maybe these vandals want attention, usually racists are proud of their racism and they flaunt it one way or another, they want credit for being racists, to show other racist people they are racists. So it's weird that this display of racism was done anonymously ? Their white power trip was for nothing really.


And do you feel the same about the ones who were on a black power trip when they spray painted BLM and a stencil on buildings during their little protest walk a few weeks ago? They were cowards too, I take it.

PurplePickles aka L&M

No they are not cowards because we know who did the spray painting don't we? It was the BLM. Did my comment hit too close to home for you KR?


Well Purple, I believe you pretty much put your foot in your mouth, and I quote:

"Vandalism is a cowardly act, an immature act really. it's the actions of someone who is a coward and hasn't fully matured, a true grown-up would have never done such a thing, trying to create hate, trying to sow discord among the real grownups."

The BLM graffiti was an act of vandalism, was it not? And you said that vandalism is a "cowardly and immature act," did you not? Would that not include they who do it during a protest walk, whether it was seen by others or not, right along with they who do it in the dead of night? Hmmm? Sorry if my reply hit too close to home for you, Pickles.




I wonder if it's the same crowd that desecrated the graves in Mt. Olivet?

PurplePickles aka L&M

What crowd you talking about the racist crowd or the BLM crowd? I would say this was the racist crowd, typically the BLM crowd likes publicity when they topple these racists statues, so we can all cheer about racists statues being toppled, they would not do this in the dark of night because they are not cowards.


They are not cowards??? [lol][lol][lol][lol][lol] Only cowards go out to riot and destroy other people's property, whether it's public or private. And we saw enough of that in the BLM riots that followed the Floyd incident. That was nothing but a cowardly, pack mentality. Nothing more than gangs of savages running amuck.


Did anyone see the 'racist graffiti'? What was it? What exactly did it say? The FNP report doesn't tell us. Neither do any of the people expressing their disgust. I wonder if they know what they are being disgusted about. I ask because the term 'racist' is thrown around so casually nowadays. And becaus I like the specifics.


I have photos.

The “n” word, more than twice. Swastika. 666. An ejaculating penis.


Thanks the info. Disgusting!


So, we have a lot of pathology there public! A juvenile racist, a neo-nazi, a Satanist, and...well, I don't know what to make of the last one. Penis envy?


FWIW, I don’t regard Satanism as any more of a pathology than other Christian religions. Indeed, the a character of Satan is the good guy in the bible. He introduces people to Knowledge, about which the god character had lied to them. And when it comes to killing people, the god character really puts him to shame. The only people Satan is credited with killing — Job’s children — he did with the encouragement and blessing of God. God, meanwhile, offed millions of people including infants.

But I take your general point in the spirit in which it was intended.


Trump's allowed this vermin to slither out of their holes and openly show their hate. Removing him from office is of extreme importance to the Republic.


How do you know it wasn't done by blacks to make whites look bad?


My last dollar, says it was.

Business Owner

We should find out who actually did this before determining their motivations. I really want to find out who did this and punish them accordingly.


How's the investigation going into the BLM graffiti sprayed around downtown a couple of weeks ago? [ninja]

Business Owner

What investigation? Apparently BLM graffiti is acceptable.


Well, the article back then said the police were investigating. I'd guess they are right on the cusp of cracking the case. [lol][ninja]


Don't hold your breath, bosco, arresting and prosecuting those vandals would not meet O'Connor's politically correct agenda.


Don't worry, KR, I won't be holding my breath on any of this. I just enjoy pointing out the hypocrisy from the left. BLM until it's Black on Black crime and then they try to blame it on a couple hundred years of history and excuse it. Tell that to the mother of that three year old shot and killed in Chicago. [ninja]


I agree with Business Owner. Who did this? And for what reason? To stir up more trouble? Whoever did this should be punished accordingly. But let's not put blame on ANY group until they find out who did it.


Oh Mayor O'Connor when will you learn... "I immediately SENT the city’s Department of Public Works to remove the spray paint, stickers and other materials..." DPW does this continually without being SENT by you - give them some credit. No one wants this type of graffiti in our city. Frederick is better this!


The actions of the few do not reflect the majority population. Would not be surprised if a non-local is responsible for this heinous action.


[thumbup] cyntiast....agree, just like the actions of a few cops do not reflect the majority of law enforcement. It is important to keep that in mind as well. [ninja]


I wouldn't be surprised if blacks did it to make it look like whites had.


White privilege is not having to worry about racist graffiti about your race showing up in your little town.

Business Owner

What exactly is white privilege?


If you don’t know what White Privilege is then you have it. Only those that don’t have it know what White Privilege is.


I know exactly what 'white privilege' is. It is a big fat nonsense. In today's America it means nothing to be 'white' as opposed to say Asian, African-American, Latino. The whole idea of 'white privilege' is a noxious, divisive invention of destructive ideologues.


[thumbup] petersamuel. Looking for an opportunity to cry racism is on page one of the leftist playbook of divisiveness. The one who looks behind the door when entering a room has hidden there in the past. [ninja]


See what I mean petersamuel?? Your comment is the perfect example of White Privilege.


Let's just talk about privilege, fido, not "white" privilege. What is that?

Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job.

Privilege is having $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance.

Privilege is having a smart phone with a data plan which you never receive a bill for.

Privilege is living in public subsidized housing where you don’t have a water bill, and rising property taxes, rents, and energy costs have absolutely no effect on the amount of food you can put on your table.

Privilege is the ability to go march and protest against anything that triggers you without worrying about calling out of work or the consequences that accompany such behavior.

Privilege is having as many children as you want, regardless of your employment status, and be able to send them off to daycare or school that you don’t pay for.


Well by your reasoning I can say - consistently with my point that it is a nonsense and an invention of troublemakers -- that I don't have 'white privilege' and therefore I know what it is. I know that it is a conceptual absurdity because whites as such have no group privilege in today's America -- unlike the situation under segregation and slavery.


CD, how many Black people do you know that have any of those things you mention?? And you forgot the one about buying lobster and steak with food stamps while you’re buying beans. You know every Racial stereotype of every minority in the Country. But you don’t know any of them. You’ve never lived in a diverse Community, I did for 40 years, 22 of which were in Columbia, MD, a city founded as one of the most diverse in the Country. 99.999% of the people I have met during that time were just like me, race or religion or ethnicity NEVER came up. So I know that when you live with people of every description you learn to judge people as individuals, good or bad, not as groups you were taught to hate.


fido, how can you ask me how many black people do I know when, as a racist (in your mind,) I must not know any???


I was just questioning if you had 1st hand knowledge of any of the things you attribute to Black people or did someone tell you about them? Just askin’. ✌️


Uh, wrong, not just wrong but completely wrong. If you can't enumerate exactly what the white privilege is, who received the white privilege, what the benefits were, and the tangible gains, then you have no proof just an opinion. And you know what they say about opinions, right? If you are going to confiscate land or compel the payment of reparations, then you must have proof. For the record, by Democrat standards of racial identity, I am Latino (Hispanic), a "brown skin". My father was a legal immigrant. He came here precisely to escape identity politics.


Let's get rid of racism in America. America or Trump!


Agreed ... let’s get rid of BLM Antigua and all the leftist progressives Marxist that continually stir up trouble in the name of “equality”. .TRUMP 2020 LANDSLIDE 🤩




ANTIFA . Let’s keep Antigua


How about the Boogaloo Bois, mcrider? They were on the night shift of the George Floyd protests, involved in the rioting part of the protests. Look them up. ANTIFA wasn’t there as an identifiable group according to the MPD.


The question be asked if those who are perpetuating racism are in fact doing so for the - "equities" - Just curious when did our nation take racism from achieving "equalities" to monetisation of "racial equities"? The value of race? While the colour and "equity" of our flesh tones cost us dearly every single day - public policies keep moving forward. Costly, and financially perilous decisions are being made to counter the costs of our ... hatred. I like June Jordon's definition of Americans: The American everyone of us. So - how much does your hate cost? Regard of the colour of your fleshtone. PS: Every American should take a DNA test -


No need to take a DNA test. Based on available evidence, the entire human race originated in Africa.


That 20% in today's online poll believe those responsible should not be charged with a hate crime flies in the face of those who claim, "This is not Frederick." I hope the culprits are caught and charged with hate crimes.


The county executive’s planned community conversation (July 6th) on Racial Equity in Frederick County may be a good idea. One need not look far to find plenty of racial inequities in our community to confer or converse upon. Some would say the county’s uniqueness is being known for its racial inequities.

For there to be even a small measure of success spawned from such a community conversation an action plan must follow. For a plan to be more than words on paper, a true action plan should have a team, a constituency that will be responsible for and accountable to the public for implementing the action items. There must be a timeline and benchmarks to be achieved in implementing the action items, and most of all there needs to be accountability.

Even then it will be a struggle. Progress if any will come slowly. Over the years, I have been to a plethora of community conversations, meetings, summits or conferences locally, regionally and nationally on racial justice, domestic violence, drugs and crime, community policing and the list goes on. Though well intended, most often they are little more than political theater.

It is my hope that this one will represent a genuine start. It will take leadership, sustained leadership throughout our community to achieve any progress in addressing the racial inequities that have been present in Frederick County for generations.


Jan Gardner has demonstrated sustained leadership for many years and has been reelected multiple times because of her trusted leadership. You could learn a lot from her.


[thumbup] Jan for Governor!


Annapolis isn't screwed up enough already, Dick?

Business Owner

Leadership? She never looks beyond what is sitting on her desk.


It's a big desk


Thank you, Karl.


All you have to do is read some of the comments posted right here on the FNP Opinion Forum on a regular basis to know that there should be no surprise about these ongoing incidents in Frederick City and County. And the reaction of some people to the recent peaceful protests against the systemic Racism that still exists in a large segment of American citizens is what is driving the blatant Racist displays.


Phydeaux, I agree and I do appreciate your comments on the difficult issues facing Frederick. Bob Lewis


In total agreement, phy. The underbelly of America (and Frederick, too) exposed, let loose and enabled by the old racist in the Oval Office. Exactly what he aspired to in his desire to "make America great again".


Mrs M: How can you say that Frederick is still racist when people here voted in two people of color out of five elected City of Frederick Alders (Alderpeople, whatever) in the last City elections. I think those two got their positions based on their capabilities... but that's the point. Their racial background was rightly disregarded. Doesn't that suggest to you that any racism here in Frederick is minor, that the vast majority of us do not factor race into our thinking?


I agree too, phy.


Peaceful ??? Are you blind or just ignorant ?


phydeaux: I'm fine with peaceful protests against racism, but I start to wonder what people on about when they add the adjective 'systemic'. If the adjective just means widespread racism I'd ask: Is it really so widespread given the happy fact that lots of people of color get elected to public office, and must have gotten the votes of large numbers of whites to get there. If by systemic you mean that somehow racism is embedded in our systems -- in education, in. business, in government etc -- I'd like to hear the evidence for that.


And there in lies the problem. Those who don't agree with your opinion, must be racist. Nonsense.

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