Charlotte Greenway Vandalized with Racist Graffiti

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Amy Kelly has run the Toby Creek Greenway at Kirk Farm Fields for about ten years. She’s seen silly stuff spray painted on the pavement before, but nothing like this. Kelly says, “I actually, like, I mean I’m still upset talking about it. It breaks my heart to see that kinda stuff still happening.”

What she saw Monday morning was, by late afternoon, already painted over. A Mecklenburg County Park and Rec crew got rid of the white spray painted slur: “(N-word) aren’t people.” Kelly says, “It’s 2018. Why are we still doing things like this? You know? Love, don’t hate. It’s so much easier to love, and it feels a lot better, too.”

While the words Kelly saw on her run have already been painted over, we found other hateful words out on the greenway, like what’s been written on two tarps. We held up the tarps to see exactly what they said: the F word, and the N word. We also found a derogatory word used to describe Jewish people spray painted on the pavement next to the nearby foot bridge.

Greenway visitors we talked to all felt the same way. Danielle Torp says, “To see a place like this getting trashed and taken advantage of, it’s kinda sad.” Dennis Mosley says, “It’s unfortunate that people have to express their views in a public place. It’s really sad.” And Jenna Rossi says, “I think it’s concerning that we’re still in 2018, and these racial slurs are continuing to happen.”

Kelly has a simple message for whoever is behind the hateful vandalism: “Be a better person. Be better than that.”

A county spokesman tells WCCB that park rangers patrol parks and greenways daily. He says the tarps don’t belong to the county, but will be removed first thing in the morning. Also, he tells us there are no security cameras on the greenway.