Following an article in the Salmon Arm Observer drawing public attention to racist graffiti inked on a fence, the Salmon Arm RCMP announced Thursday morning they are now investigating the matter.
City of Salmon Arm crews removed a hateful piece of graffiti from a fence alongside a public trail on Friday Nov. 18.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Scott West says the incident appears to be isolated but the RCMP is confirming it with the City of Salmon Arm.
“The graffiti and its subject matter is uncharacteristic in the area,” he said.
West said criminal charges are a possibility if suspects are identified.
The graffiti, which read “Kill all Islamic Muslims,” is especially troubling for Brian Ayotte, who has played a large part in bringing seven Syrian refugee families to Salmon Arm.
“Bad news creates more bad news and I’m just thinking about the U.S. elections and some of the acrimony that came out of that, and I just wonder if it hasn’t given people freedom to express that here and in the rest of the world,” Ayotte said.
Ayotte says he hasn’t seen any other instances of graffiti targeting Muslims or the refugees in Salmon Arm and hopes this is an isolated incident.
Rob Hein the city’s manager of roads and parks personally inspected the graffiti and ordered its removal.
Hein said graffiti is common in Salmon Arm, but this is the first explicitly hateful piece he has seen.