Swastika, ‘KKK’ graffiti found along Bloomington’s B-Line Trail


Photos courtesy of Ijah Mcculley

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.-- Bloomington police say they found swastikas and "KKK" spray-painted on the B-Line Trail late Thursday night.

An anonymous call from a bicyclist came in around 11:45 p.m., saying a man with a beard was painting the symbols on the trail.

The next morning, Ijah McCulley's morning walk with her dogs took a turn, when she came upon the graffiti behind her home.

"I just had this big conversation with one of my best friends (Thursday) night about, how do we deal with this, there’s a lot of hate going on, let’s be positive, especially on social media. ... We were like, 'Okay, what can we do, every day something positive,' and then I woke up to this," McCulley said.

To make matters worse, McCulley lives in a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood which is still partially under construction. The area is particularly diverse and full of families who say they're working to achieve the American dream.

"These are hard-working families who live and work in Bloomington and are doing their best to provide a safe, decent shelter for their family," Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County CEO Kerry Thomson said.

Thomson and her team immediately went to the neighborhood to respond. In the meantime, the city painted over the graffiti.

Habitat held a meeting with neighbors, Bloomington Police, and Mayor John Hamilton Friday night, then a vigil in which they lit candles, spoke about their response, and marched down the area where the graffiti had been to "take back the trail."

"It’s important to put positivity out there, instead of  just the negativity," McCulley said. "It is sad, but what can we do to fix the problem? And the problem is way deeper than just here and somebody spraying KKK on a tree."

Hamilton said the graffiti got to deeper tensions that have arisen in Bloomington and across the country since Tuesday's election.

"Who knows who did it, who knows why they did it. It’s a hateful thing to do, it’s a divisive thing to do," Hamilton said.

Police are stepping up patrols in the area. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information should call Bloomington police at 812-339-4477.

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