Two confederate monuments were vandalized in Uptown Charlotte Wednesday.
The word "racist" was discovered spray painted onto a confederate monument early Wednesday morning Police say it happened overnight Tuesday on the grounds of the old city hall, which is located near the current police headquarters.
A custodian with the city's cemetery attempted to scrub the spray paint from the monument Wednesday but the paint had already begun soaking into the harden rock. By Thursday morning the monument had been removed for sand blasting and further cleaning. It was not immediately known how long it would take to clean but initial estimates put repairs around $2,000.
"Defacing the monument isn't going to bring around any great change," said Brian McMullen, who came down to look at the defaced monument Wednesday. "Defacing the monument won't change the past. It might bring comfort to those in the present. It changes what they see, but I don't think it's necessary," said McMullen.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is treating this like any other vandalism case but said they are keeping a close eye on other Confederate monuments in the city. Also on Wednesday, wet concrete was smeared onto a Confederate monument near Memorial Stadium.
"We have notified the officers of the different locations of the monuments around the city," said CMPD Lt. Joseph Carey said Wednesday. "We're not having an officer sitting on every monument, we just wanted them to be aware so if they see any suspicious activity, they know what's going on."
To Aileen Soper - another passerby - defacing a memorial is disrespectful.
"Confederate soldiers are still American soldiers," Soper said. "There were black soldiers that fought for the confederacy. By spray painting 'racist' on a monument that remembers them for their service is disrespectful to veterans in general."
Police are reviewing surveillance cameras in the area with hopes of identifying the suspect or suspects.
Mecklenburg County commissioners have talked about removing confederate monuments from county property. City officials have not responded to our requests to whether or not they will be having that same discussion.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans in North Carolina sent out a response to Confederate cemeteries and monuments being vandalized.