Tree trunks in an Edmonds, Washington park were defaced with swastika graffiti, an incident the city’s mayor labelled a “shocking sight.”
A “dressed-up doll” was also discovered in the branches of a tree.
After the photos taken at Pine Ridge Park were posted to social media, Mayor Mike Nelson issued a Facebook response, reported My Edmonds News.
“The swastika has been used for decades as a symbol of white supremacy and/or hatred towards other races and ethnicities. While we do not know if this incident was motivated by prejudice or hatred, or meant to intimidate, the presence of the swastika graffiti in our public park is very concerning and has no place in our community,” he wrote.
He added that the city’s values those of an “inclusive community - an example to other communities in our region.”
“There is always more work to do to achieve our goal of a fully equitable and inclusive city,” he continued. “Whether purposeful or out of mischief, invoking such a powerful symbol as the swastika, infused with a history of hatred and violence, cannot be condoned. Hateful symbols should not be the subject of anyone’s public expression. We must take a stand against such abuse whenever and wherever we see it.”
The Edmonds Police Department has launched an investigation, and has also forwarded the incident to federal law enforcement. The parks department was instructed to remove the graffiti.