FBI investigating possible hate crime after swastika, 'Trump' spray painted on Bay Area home, overpass

LAFAYETTE, Calif. -- Police are investigating a possible hate crime in the Bay Area city of Lafayette, as a swastika and the word "Trump" was spray painted on someone's garage.

That was one of two similar incidents in the East Bay, and now the FBI is involved.

"I was horrified," said one resident who declined to be publicly identified. "I was scared the fact that those people are walking around that white supremacists are walking around here!"

The woman didn't want to show her face out fear that vandals would come after her. She lives near Katie and Robbie Peacock, whose home was hit.

The Peacocks have a Joe Biden flag flying outside their house along with an anti-President Trump sign. In fact, while we were speaking with them, community members showed up with flowers and a new Biden-Harris sign. Many didn't want to speak with us out of fears of retaliation.

"I just don't think it's kids, I think it was Trump supporters walking around," said the neighbor.

VIDEO: Bay Area couple seen defacing BLM mural
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The two Martinez residents charged for three misdemeanor charges after they were caught on video defacing a Black lives Matter mural plead not guilty in court. Nicole Anderson and David Nelson's attorney calls the charges outrageous and politicized.

The Peacocks sent us a statement that read, 'Let this message of hate and violence underscore the importance of how we all show up in this moment. We have 7 days until the next election. Seven days to choose love over hate, unity over division, and bravery over fear. Seven days to protect our children's future and to make our parents proud. Get out the vote. Donate to the senate races that matter most, and to the organizations committed to defeating hate in America. Together, we can do this - and we will.'

Several miles down the road a similar vandalism Tuesday that said 'swastika equals Trump equals ACB equals swastika.' That has since been painted over and a sign put up that says 'Love Trumps Hate'.

The Peacock family has also painted over the graffiti. The Lafayette mayor and police issuing a joint statement saying, "There is no place for hate in Lafayette" but not saying who they think did this. No suspect description has been released and police have reached out to the FBI for their help."

Here is the full joint statement from the mayor and the police department:

Today, Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the Lafayette Police Department responded to a report of vandalism in an area of the city adjacent to Lafayette Circle. The Suspect(s) had spray-painted a swastika and the word "Trump" on the garage of a home.

"There is no place for hate in Lafayette," said Mayor Mike Anderson. "This is an inclusive and diverse city where everyone is welcome. The spray-painting of a swastika, a symbol of oppression, genocide, and xenophobia, on an individual's home will not be tolerated," said Mayor Anderson.

"Lafayette stands together in the face of any act involving prejudice or racism; this act will not be overlooked and will be vigorously prosecuted," the Mayor added.

The Lafayette Police Department is actively investigating this crime and all potential aspects of it, including as a possible hate crime. Lafayette Police take all types of acts that could be bias- or hate-related seriously and will investigate thoroughly. Lafayette Police have contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the investigation is ongoing.
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