This story contains images of racially-charged profanity below, which some readers may find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.
Police are investigating an act of vandalism committed early Monday morning, in which racially charged graffiti and a possible gang reference were spray-painted on the side of a truck parked in downtown Long Beach.
Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) officers were dispatched to the 200 block of West Fifth Street at 8:11AM Monday, July 6, in response to a report of vandalism to a vehicle, LBPD spokeswoman Marlene Arrona said.
Authorities believe the vandalism happened on Monday between 4:00AM to 7:00AM.
One witness said she was walking to school just after 6:00AM when she noticed the graffiti.
“The streets were empty. It was six in the morning, so. I didn’t see anything happen, but I did see the writing on the truck,” said an employee who requested anonymity at Minutemen Press on West Fifth Street, near Pacific Avenue.
The vehicle—a light brown, two-door truck with an extended cab—was spray painted in red with the phrases “f--- blacks” and "f--- you," and a less legible line reads "Lon-o," a possible reference to the notoriously violent East Side Longos gang. There was also a filled-in circle spray painted on the passenger window of the truck.
Photo courtesy of a Long Beach Post reader.
Police said the victim is not black and the motive is unknown. There is also no available description of the suspect or suspects.
Because the graffiti did not appear to be directed at a specific target, the incident is not classified as a hate crime, Arrona said.
The incident takes place amid heightened anxiety in the community regarding unsubstantiated social media threats targeting African American and Asian women. The Long Beach Ministers Alliance will be hosting a meeting tonight, along with the LBPD's gang detectives, to talk about the nature of the threats, which their evidence suggests are unfounded.
The meeting will be held at 6:00PM tonight at Temple Baptist Church, 2825 East 10th Street.