Multiple homeowners in Cleveland, Ohio, have reported their Black Lives matter signs were set on fire.
According to Fox 8, three homeowners in the neighborhood of Ohio City reported their signs were set on fire, and other residents reported that their signs supporting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were stolen. Cleveland City Councilman Kerry McCormack has called on Cleveland police to investigate the burned signs as a hate crime.
“People plucking yard signs here and there is something that we’ve seen forever, but burning signs like this is a different level. The fact that these were burned and let’s say some of the Biden signs were not, that tells me that the people that were doing it were targeting a specific message,” McCormack told Fox 8.
Ohio City resident Paul Sherlock told the news outlet that he was walking his dogs when he noticed the Black Lives Matter sign on his front lawn had been stolen. Sherlock felt that this was not only theft, but a violation of his freedom of speech. “My Black Lives Matter sign is not going to make people suddenly aware of Black Lives Matter, it’s saying that I support it, so I should be allowed to express that opinion,” Sherlock told Fox 8.
Ohio City Incorporated has asked for the homeowners affected to check any surveillance footage they may have to see if it captured the face of whoever is responsible. Some homeowners have already begun to move their signs indoors and display them in their windows. One of the homeowners who had their BLM sign burned has already replaced it. Sherlock told Fox 8 that he intends to double down on the signs. “I’m going to buy more signs, so you take one, I’m going to put up two, you take two, I’m going to put up four.”
“What I would guess is that they are trying to silence the voices of our community for supporting our black neighbors. We will not be silent and we will continue to support initiatives for racial justice,” McCormack told Fox 8.