Police Investigating Vandalism at School as Hate Crime

Published on January 25, 2022

Palo Alto, CA Police are investigating a vandalism case that occurred at an elementary school over the weekend as a hate crime, after an unknown suspect wrote a racial epithet on an outdoor sign.

On Monday, January 24, 2022, at about 4:18 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from the administration of El Carmelo Elementary School at 3024 Bryant Street reporting a vandalism incident that had occurred over the weekend.  The investigation revealed that at some point between Saturday, January 22 and Monday, January 24, an unknown suspect had written a racial epithet directed at Black people on a sign on school property.  The suspect also crossed out a cartoon image on the same sign that depicted two non-white children.  Upon discovery, school officials promptly removed the sign.

There have been no similar graffiti vandalism incidents reported recently at Palo Alto schools.  To view details on other hate crime vandalisms reported in Palo Alto, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/PAPDnews and search by keyword “hate.”

The personnel of the Palo Alto Police Department will thoroughly investigate any reported hate crimes in Palo Alto.  In late March 2021, the Palo Alto City Council denounced violence directed at people of Asian descent, and that came on the heels of months of efforts with City Council’s ongoing conversations and work on race and equity.  You are welcome to read a blog post from the City entitled “Steps the Community Can Take to Help Stop Hate Crimes.”  The City of Palo Alto strongly denounces hate crimes of all kinds, and encourages members of our community to promptly report these incidents by calling our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413, or 9-1-1 if it is an emergency.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

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