KOKOMO, Ind. – Kokomo’s mayor is blaming Donald Trump and tense political rhetoric for the vandals who spray painted cars, homes, and political signs with “KKK” markings in a predominately minority neighborhood.
The Kokomo Police Department says at least seven people’s personal property in the 1500 block of North Purdum St. was targeted between the late night hours of October 16 and early morning hours of October 17.
The one connection: the families targeted were minorities and openly displayed their support for the Democratic Party.
“Came home, pulled up, and saw KKK on each individual sign,” said Monica Fowler. “I feel like that was politically charged.”
Democrat Mayor Greg Goodnight agreed.
“I think it has to tie into it. The timing is too suspect,” said Goodnight who went on to blame the Republican Presidential Nominee for inspiring the attacks.
“You have a presidential candidate who has tried to legitimize racial divisiveness,” he explained. “There’s just a lot of rhetoric going on at the national level I have to tie it directly to this.”
He also said the incident was not different from the firebombing of a GOP campaign office in North Carolina this week.
“If Governor Pence chooses to go to North Carolina and denounces that activity, then I would hope he would come to his home state and do the same thing when it’s actions against the Democratic party.”
Our staff reached out to the Trump-Pence Campaign for a response. A Pence spokesman did not comment specifically about the Kokomo vandalism, but pointed to the Governor’s speech in North Carolina, Tuesday, and said he condemned violence against supporters of either side of the aisle.
Fowler and other neighbors said the vandalism will not deter them from casting their vote on November 8th.
“I just want to make sure my community is not afraid to stand up for who they support,” said Fowler.
Kokomo police have reported the incident to the FBI.