REDMOND (Ore.) (AP). Someone left a dead raccoon, a sign that used 'intimidating' language and mentioned a Black councilor, outside the office of a mayor in Oregon.
Redmond Police Department released a press release saying that Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch discovered the raccoon on Monday. Police said the sign named Fitch and Redmond City Councilor Clifford Evelyn.
Fitch referred to the language of the sign as 'racially hatred'. He refused to elaborate, but told The Bulletin that he felt bad for Clifford. Some people in town can't seem to accept that Clifford, who is Black, is on the City Council.
Heather Cassaro, a city spokesperson, said that police are not revealing the exact language of the sign in order to preserve the integrity and objectivity of the investigation. The police are investigating this act as a possible hate crime.
Evelyn is a retired police officer who was elected in 2021 to the council. He described the act as hate crime, but expressed confidence in the investigation by the police, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.
Raccoon images have been used as an anti-Black insult in the United States for many years. According to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery, this stereotype has its roots in slavery and is one of the most degrading of black stereotypes.
A Black Redmond teen found a threatening note on her door, and a failed Deschutes County Commission Candidate displayed a Confederate Flag at the Fourth of July Parade in the city.
Evelyn stated that 'the people in this area of the country will just have to catch-up'. It's only the knuckleheads who can't get back on track. They're making us look bad and causing harm to others.