The front of Asheville’s Fraternal Order of Police lodge was vandalized with a pointed message in spray paint early Monday: “Black Lives Matter.”
Asheville Police are investigating the act of vandalism, reported Fox Carolina News. It follows a week of turmoil surrounding the Asheville Police, after a video surfaced of an officer beating a black suspect in August.
The windows of an FOP van in the parking lot were broken out, and someone cut the wires to surveillance cameras during the vandalism, reported WLOS.
Police think the incidents happened at around 4 a.m. Monday, and there was surveillance footage of a suspect despite the camera wires being cut, reported TV station KTVQ. The person in the video appears to be white and is wearing a hoodie, it was reported.
The vandalism follows days of media scrutiny for the Asheville Police Department, after a video was leaked of former officer Christopher Hickman hitting suspect Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who was accused of jaywalking. A whistleblower leaked the video to the press. The former officer was charged last week with assault and communicating threats.
Rondell Lance, president of the AFOP, told TV station WSPA that the vandalism was upsetting because he’s condemned the video of Hickman, and he doesn’t believe the vandalism was done by a member of Asheville’s Black Lives Matter. He thinks it’s someone with their own agenda trying to promote division in the community, the station reported.
Lance said in addition to the vandalism, the American flag was also taken down and put back upside down, WSPA reported.