Police in Yarmouth are investigating a spray-painted racial slur and other graffiti spray-painted on the road that connects Littlejohn and Cousins islands this weekend.

The graffiti was found Sunday morning on Talbot Road, and included depictions of male genitalia, the word “trump,” and a racial slur for Black people, according to photos posted to social media. The racial slur was partially faded, as if whomever spray-painted the asphalt nearly ran out of paint after a few letters.

Police say they believe the road was defaced some time Saturday night or between midnight and sunrise Sunday. There were also reported incidents of cars being struck by eggs in the same area around the same time, and they may be connected, according to police.

Officers were first alerted to the vandalism early Sunday morning and an officer went to the causeway and photographed the graffiti, said Police Chief Daniel A. Gallant.

“It was originally called in Sunday morning and was reported as lewd graffiti on the road,” Gallant said. “The officer checked and didn’t recognize any overt hate speech.”

By around 11 or 11:30 a.m., a second person out for a walk also noticed it, recognized the racial slur, and called police again.

The woman who called later in the morning said she was not initially satisfied with the response she received during a conversation with police.

“I think they were initially under the impression that it said something else and (they said) they’d note my point of view in the file,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified because she feared reprisal. “I was unsatisfied with the response until I spoke with the chief this morning.”

Gallant said he called the woman back Monday to reassure her that the department is taking the report seriously and apologized for any misunderstanding. The officer who spoke with her initially also apologized, Gallant said.

“We’re reviewing what happened,” Gallant said. “From what it looks like, it doesn’t look like the officer did anything intentionally, and it was a mistake. He apologized to that citizen, and went forward from there.”

Gallant said the department’s review will examine whether the graffiti – which could be considered misdemeanor criminal mischief – might also constitute a bias-motivated crime.

“They’re on it now,” said the woman who called police. “I’m happy to wait for their assessment of the situation and I hope as a community we stand up and don’t diminish this.”

Even if it’s teenagers, the woman said, the impact is the same. “We will not tolerate boys being boys here,” she said.

She said she got some paint and covered up the offensive word, with permission from police. “The (genitalia), I don’t care, that’s whatever, but the racial slur wasn’t going to stick around,” she said.

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