Racial slur painted on Rindge roadway

  • Rindge Police Department Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/30/2021 1:03:39 PM

At some point overnight the day before Thanksgiving, a roadway in East Rindge was vandalized with a racial slur, which police believe was targeted at an individual who lives in the proximity.

Police Chief Rachel Malynowski said Tuesday there was a racial slur written in large letters in the roadway, as well as phallic symbols painted on the roadway and street signs.

“There is an individual that lives nearby that feels directly targeted by this, and fears for their well-being as a result of this graffiti,” Malynowski said.

Malynowski said this is the second incident of a racial slur being tagged on the roadway near an individual’s home who felt targeted by the vandalism, with the other incident happening earlier this summer, to a different person. Malynowski said at this point, police do not know if both incidents were done by the same vandal, or are two separate incidents.

“They are related in the nature of the incidents, in that they were done at or near a home of a person who we believe to be a targeted individual,” Malynowski said. “To the community, there’s no tolerance for this type of behavior. Whether it’s one incident, or two, or on a daily basis – one is too many. If they are targeting individuals we’re not going to tolerate that.”

Vandalism is typically considered criminal mischief under New Hampshire law, which is usually a misdemeanor crime. It can be considered a Class A misdemeanor if the act causes damage in excess of $100, or a Class B felony if the damage is more than $1,500.

Malynowski said while vandalism isn’t a violent crime, the nature of the graffiti qualifies it as a hate crime. 

“The term ‘hate’ can be misleading. When used in a hate crime law, the word ‘hate’ does not mean rage, anger or general dislike. In this context, ‘hate’ means bias against people or groups with specific characteristics that are defined by the law. At the federal level, hate crime laws include crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability,” Malynowski wrote in a Facebook post about the incident on the Rindge Police Department page.

Malynowski said this was an opportunity for education.

“I open my door,” Malynowski said. “If it is a juvenile, and someone that truly just doesn’t understand the power of these words, I will have an open-door conversation. Let’s keep this community safe and people feeling safe.”

The vandalism incident is still under investigation, and anyone with any information should contact the Rindge Police Department at 603-899-5009.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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