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Santa Cruz Police Department investigating possible hate crime graffiti

A resident found racial slurs and “hate-based” graffiti painted on a sidewalk in the 200 block of Swift Street. Police responded, took a report and the graffiti was “immediately removed,” according to a news release.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is investigating racist graffiti found on Swift Street as a hate crime, the agency said Wednesday night.

On the night of March 30, a resident found racial slurs and “hate-based” graffiti painted on a sidewalk in the 200 block of Swift Street. Police responded, took a report and the graffiti was “immediately removed,” according to a news release.

The department is “actively” investigating the incident as a hate crime, and this is the first such report of racist graffiti in the city in 2021, officials said.

Police did not say what kind of language or symbolism was drawn on the sidewalk, but hate crimes are defined as crimes committed against someone for the person’s “actual or perceived” disability, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, according to SCPD.

“The Santa Cruz Police Department takes these matters seriously and has dedicated police resources from multiple units to investigate this incident swiftly,” the news release said.

Police didn’t have a suspect as of Wednesday afternoon.

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