County Executive Leopold Denounces Racist Act and Encourages Community to Come Together
Two white teens charged with crime against black church
Annapolis (September 18, 2009) - County Executive John R. Leopold today denounced a racist act against an African-American church in Shady Side and called upon the broader community to join in a conversation against racism.
"This was an act by two young men that I do not believe reflects the views of our citizenry," County Executive Leopold said. "The Police Department quickly identified and charged the suspects with defacing property working closely with School Resource Officers to determine the students were absent the day of the crimes. We must send a clear message to our young people that these actions will not be tolerated."
On September 10, the acronym "KKK" was found spray painted on a church bus parked in the lot of St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Shady Side. County Executive Leopold recently participated in the National Night Out activities at the Lula G. Scott Community Center across the street from the church. The case is being prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s Office as a hate crime.
"As community leaders we have an obligation to stop this kind of activity before it becomes dangerous," County Executive Leopold said. "I am pleased that this Administration’s efforts to make School Resources Officers a priority in the County budget have again paid off, because every child deserves a safe and secure leaning environment. I plan to work with our schools and faith community to spread awareness about the ignorance of hate. Even if this is just pranks by kids, they need to know the consequences of their actions."