The Naperville Park District covered up racist graffiti found yesterday with a tarp in Cantore Park, adjacent to Welch Elementary School.
Gang symbols and terms like “White Pride” were found on an erected partition in the park that separates Cantore from the school. Due to the ground being saturated from the recent rains, it was challenging for staff to mobilize the appropriate equipment to do work yesterday.
Park district crews temporarily covered the graffiti with a tarp on Monday and plan to permanently remove it today.
“Hatred and ignorance drive racist comments like this,” said Ray McGury, executive director and acting chief of park police for the Naperville Park District in a press release. “I live in this community. I raised my kids in this community. I, along with my fellow Napervillians, have no toleration for this…none.”
Naperville Police Investigating
The Naperville Police Department is investigating the incident.
“We are actively investigating the defacement of this property, which is a crime,” said NPD Commander Mike Son in an email statement. “Spray painting phrases like “White Pride,”gang symbols, and other inappropriate phrases is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cases like these are often solved when the community and the police work together to identify those responsible. Lastly, I would like to thank the park district employees who worked quickly to remove the graffiti from this area.”
“I am confident with this cooperation we will identify the person(s) who committed this crime and hold them accountable,” added Chief Robert Marshall.
Contact If You Have Information
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Naperville Crime Stoppers at 630-420-6006 or online at napervillecrimestoppers.com. All calls may remain anonymous.
McGury personally added $500 to the Crime Stoppers award for information leading to the arrest of the criminals.
Residents may also call the Naperville Police Department Investigations Division at 630-305-5276.
City Council Resolution
This incident comes a week after Naperville City Council passed a resolution denouncing racism and celebrating diversity.
The resolution came in response to a speaker at the April 7 council meeting, who referred to Asian-American residents as “carpetbaggers.” The comment was in reference to a large and visible Asian voting contingent in opposition to recreational marijuana sales in Naperville.
In March, a 60-year-old Chinese man was spat at and told to “go back to China” on a Naperville trail.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.