More racist graffiti mars Upper Valley

Eric Brown, left, and Luke Russ, right, of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, take time out from a ditching project to cover up a racial epithet spray painted on Route 14 in East Bethel, Vt., on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. They plan to return with gray graffiti cover-up paint when they have the resources for a lane closure due to the paint’s long drying time. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Eric Brown, left, and Luke Russ, right, of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, take time out from a ditching project to cover up a racial epithet spray painted on Route 14 in East Bethel, Vt., on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. They plan to return with gray graffiti cover-up paint when they have the resources for a lane closure due to the paint’s long drying time. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Published: 11-15-2023 1:04 AM

EAST BETHEL — Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying whoever was responsible for a racial slur that was discovered spray painted across the surface of Route 14 near Factory Hill Road in East Bethel on Tuesday morning, Vermont State Police said in a news release on Tuesday.

A road crew from Vermont Department of Transportation’s District 4 office based in White River Junction was dispatched to remove the graffiti. It is the second incident of racist vandalism to occur in the Upper Valley in less than a month, following an Oct. 31 attack in which half a dozen Sullivan County properties were spray painted with racist slurs in Newport, Croydon and Claremont.

Anyone with information about East Bethel incident is asked to contact the Vermont State Police at the Royalton barracks at 802-234-9933, or via an anonymous tip online on the VSP website.

VSP said it informed the Vermont Attorney General’s Office of the incident as a possible hate crime under the Bias Incident Reporting System. The defacement on Route 14 was first reported to State Police by a Valley News staff photographer.

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