Lakewood community draws symbols of unity after swastika graffiti removed

Lakewood community reacts to spray paint of swastikas

LAKEWOOD - Just hours after the city of Lakewood had to remove swastikas that were painted on a street and driveway, some members of the community congregated to cover the pavement with love.

Rep. Nickie Antonio rounded up several children to drive out hate with a new message. All it took was three boxes of chalk.

The children used the chalk to draw messages of love and unity on the sidewalk and driveway on Belle Avenue, where a homeowner found a pair of swastikas painted in the driveway Wednesday morning.

Another swastika was painted in the middle of the street.

Antonio, who also lives on Belle Avenue, said the following in statement:

“Our attention needs to be on how sad and sickening this hate crime is. I visited the family this morning and offered my Columbus office's full assistance. Moreover, Lakewood police are investigating, and Tony Gelsamino from the Health and Human Services Department in Lakewood arrived to offer city assistance. Many neighbors have offered their help and kind words. We will pull together and we will not let hate divide us. This act of hate will only serve as a catalyst to unite us within the community."

City police and building crews responded to the scene to remove the symbols. Police say they're also conducting an investigation.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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