Racist graffiti was found spray painted on several buildings around the Library Mall area early Wednesday morning. The incident comes after several weeks of protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and opposing UW-Madison’s Smart Restart plan, which many feel disproportionately harms BIPOC students and staff.
The graffiti was reported to the university on Thursday morning and was subsequently quickly removed, Marc Lovicott, Director of Communications for the UW-Madison Police Department, said in an email.
The likely suspect is seen on security camera footage walking in the area around 4:40 a.m., police spokesperson Joel DeSpain said in a statement to Madison.com.
“UWPD is currently reviewing nearby security camera footage and the incident is under investigation,” Lovicott said in an email.
Two UW-Madison buildings — the University Book Store and the Extension Building — as well as multiple private and city-owned buildings were affected by the graffiti.
“These racist and white supremacist messages run counter to university values. UW–Madison does not tolerate racist behaviors,” UW-Madison said in a public statement. “We value a diverse community where all members feel welcome, safe and supported.”
The incident is currently being investigated by University Police along with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. The Madison Police Department is also helping to investigate the off-campus buildings that were affected.