A man who used a marker to deface a monument at a historic African-American church in North Carolina has been charged with ethnic intimidation, officials say.
Andrew Caldwell is accused of writing “KKK You Next” on a cross statue outside Evans Metropolitan AME Zion Church on Sunday, according to Fayetteville Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Glass.
The church is the oldest in the city and has stood in its current location since 1893, according to the Cumberland County Library & Information Center. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, officials say.
Today, the congregation is mostly African-American, The Fayetteville Observer reports.
A pastor says he plans to keep the words that were scrawled onto his church’s monument, reports ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.
“Folks will know that this sentiment of racial tension is still alive in this city and also in this country,” said the pastor, who wasn’t identified in the news station’s report.
The vandalism was reported Monday, hours before an arrest was made in the case, according to Fayetteville police reports.
Caldwell, 33, was arrested in connection with the incident and charged with misdemeanor ethnic intimidation, the reports show.
He is scheduled to appear in court next month, according to records.