A mixed-race Pittsburgh couple woke up one morning last week to find the words “Die Nigger” and the police code for homicide, “1.8.7,” as well as swastikas, spray-painted on the garage door of their home, the New Pittsburgh Courier reports.
Marlene Williams, who is black, and her boyfriend, Jason Powell, who is white, say that nothing like this has ever happened before. Williams, Powell and their 5-year-old daughter all live in the home and are now worried about their safety. They told the Courier that the police are not doing anything about it.
“I did call the mayor this morning,” Williams told the newspaper. “And told him that as a citizen of the city of Pittsburgh, I’ve lived here all my life, he’s [Powell] from Alabama, I feel like I’ve been let down as a citizen. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel my child is safe walking to and from school, and it’s not OK. I feel they’ve been unreliable and the police have not done their job.”
Williams suspects that the hate-filled vandalism could have been the work of a couple from their daughter’s school with whom they have had an ongoing feud, the newspaper reports.
Williams told the newspaper that the couple has harassed her, assaulted her boyfriend and threatened their family over a cellphone that Powell and his daughter found and turned into the school. Williams said she has made several reports and that the police continue to do nothing.
“It seemed to be over the phone thing, but escalated and escalated,” Williams told the newspaper. “I’ve had conversations with different older people I know and they continue to ask if it’s a race thing, ‘because you’re an interracial couple.’ ” She said that she didn’t believe so until she found the message on her garage door last week.
Williams told the newspaper that her daughter is the one most affected by the ordeal. “She knows what’s going on. She’s 5, so she doesn’t know what the words mean. But she looks out for the people, she’s aware. And it’s not OK that she may be feeling different walking to and from school because of someone else’s actions and ignorance.”
Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier.