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Racist message spray-painted on Troutdale school

Sweetbriar Elementary.jpg

Hate speech was spray-painted on the side of a school in Troutdale overnight Saturday, leaving neighbors baffled by the racist message.

"A heavy, sinking feeling in my stomach," said Larry Morgan, who has live in Troutdale for 19 years. "I don't wear glasses but I thought that I needed some."

Morgan is in his mid-20s and is Troutdale's first African American city council member. He believes it's no accident that the racist, anti-African American message was put within sight of his home.

"I think whoever did that knew what they were doing," Morgan said. "And I think as an African American, I feel an obligation to speak out against hate."

Neighbors like Michele Jackson say it had to have happened between 11 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. She was out in her garage Saturday night and didn't see anything in the field across the street from her home. Sunday she woke up to the racist spray painting.

"It was devastating, because we live in such a nice, calm neighborhood where everybody just kind of looks out for each other," Jackson said.

Multnomah County deputies investigated the case. Within hours the spray-painted was covered, as a handful of volunteers put grey paint over it.

Deputies say it's too early to tell if the case is related to the burglary and vandalism of a home in Troutdale in March. In that case anti-Muslim hate speech was written all over the walls of a man's home.

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