John Brown statue in KCK defaced with swastika, slurs - KCTV5

John Brown statue in KCK defaced with swastika, slurs

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A statue of fiery abolitionist John Brown has been vandalized in Kansas City, KS. (Kimo Hood/KCTV5) A statue of fiery abolitionist John Brown has been vandalized in Kansas City, KS. (Kimo Hood/KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

A statue of fiery abolitionist John Brown has been vandalized in Kansas City, KS.

The statue was dedicated in 1911 and honors the well-known abolitionist. It is located at 27th Street and Sewell Avenue.

Police spokesman Thomas Tomasic says officers were dispatched Sunday afternoon to the memorial to Brown, who made a name for himself in the Kansas Territory before leading a failed slave revolt at Harpers Ferry.

Among the items painted on the statue included a swastika, "hail Satan" and racial slurs. 

The community of Quindaro was a free-state port for abolitionists and a safe haven for those escaping slavery. It was also home to Western University, the first African-American university west of the Mississippi River, until the school closed in the 1940s.

Kansas Sen. David Haley (D-KS) was shocked at the graffiti. 

"Long before the word integration was in the American lexicon, this citadel right here called Quindaro represented people of all races and cultures living together in harmony and a certain peace," said Haley, who represents the community. 

The police department says an officer has already volunteered to clean up the statue, but they’re hoping that someone may have seen whoever did this.

“I really would like to know why they did it and was it a kid who thought it would be funny to do it? Or is it an adult who is trying to express some kind of hate message?” Police Chief Terry Zeigler said.

No matter who it was though, the penalty could be steep if they’re found especially once a dollar amount is assigned to the damage done.

 “If that reaches the threshold, it could go from a misdemeanor damage to a felony criminal damage, and depending on who did it, we also could look at a hate crime charge as well,” Zeigler said.

For now, the big question is who did it and who may have seen it happen.

“They had to have climbed up on top of the statue to do it. We sure would like a phone call with any information at all -- a description, suspect description, vehicle description, anything at all that would provide some leads for us to run down,” Zeigler said.

An officer with community policing has a side business that does work on statues and headstones. He believes he’ll be able to get the vandalism off and hopes to do so Tuesday if weather allows.

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