Graffiti Cover-up

Racist graffiti, which was up for multiple days in Empire, has since been covered up.

EMPIRE — More racist graffiti turned up in Coos Bay over the weekend.

A report was made Friday, June 19 that a wooden fence on Marshall Street in the Empire District had the message: “No n***** zone.” It is considered to be the third racist tagging in the city over the past few weeks, in addition to a fourth incident following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

“… We went out, took a report, documented,” said Chief Gary McCullough with the Coos Bay Police Department. “It was on private property, so the person living there was notified and instructed to contact their property management company to get it removed.”

McCullough said there was no suspect or information to follow up on.

Then on Wednesday, June 24, City Manager Rodger Craddock brought it to McCullough’s attention that the graffiti was still on full display and that it hadn’t been removed.

Craddock later learned that a concerned neighbor had removed the grafitti.

And late Wednesday evening, there was another report of grafitti at the same site, this time the words "Black Lives Matter," Craddock said. That grafitti was removed by early Thursday morning by the property management company, he said. 

Though Coos Bay has always had a problem with graffiti, the uptick in racist tagging is new.

“And none of it is similar except (being) race-related,” McCullough said, listing the Nazi tagging on the CCAT bus shelter near Mingus Park and then another on a pump station on city property. McCullough said he never saw the tagging on the pump station since the city’s Public Works Department removed it and then made the police aware of it.

“We’ve been chasing graffiti for years and if it’s the same person there … are things that tie it to one person or a group, but these (seem) separate and there are no similarities in how it’s applied,” he said, adding that usually graffiti is an art form people use and apply patterns in style. However, “There are no similarities in ink color, application techniques … it’s all random.”

All of the cases are open over the instances of racist tagging in the city. McCullough urged anyone in the public to come forward if they have information on who is behind any of these incidents.

“If people have information on who may be applying these, we’ll take it and run with it,” he said. “… If we can identify who is responsible, we want to deal with them as quickly as possible.”

To report information on these incidents, call the CBPD at 541-269-8911.

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 236, or by email at Follow her on Twitter: @je_wardwriter.


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