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Battle Escalates Over Racial Slur Spraypainted On Stamford Home

The home at 81 High Clear Drive that had a racial slur spraypainted on the garage door. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The home at 81 High Clear Drive that had a racial slur spraypainted on the garage door. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford Mayor David Martin will meet with local NAACP members as the controversy grows over a racial slur that was spraypainted on the garage of a High Clear Road home.

The home at 81 High Clear Drive is owned by Heather Lindsay, who is white, and she shares it with her husband, Lexene Charles, who is black. She has accused the police of not conducting a proper investigation into the Jan. 14 incident, in which a racial slur was spraypainted onto the garage door.

Lindsay has refused to have the slur cleaned despite offers by both Martin and Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau to personally paint it themselves, according to Ted Jankowski, the city's director of public safety, health and welfare.

“The mayor and the Police Department continue to take this incident very seriously, and it continues be an ongoing investigation. Immediately following the incident, the Stamford Police Department spoke with the homeowner and neighbors," Jankowski said in a statement. "Police have not been able to find a witness who saw or heard anyone spraypainting the sheet-metal garage door. There are a few security cameras in the neighborhood but none captured the incident."

He said Martin condemns the incident and has arranged a meeting with the NAACP for Feb. 27. The mayor "believes that any incident like this, though incredibly rare, has no place in our diverse city,” Jankowski said. 

The city has reportedly issued a blight citation to Lindsay for failing to remove the spraypainted word. It carries a $100 daily fine.

He said the homeowner will not grant permission for the city to paint over the slur. "This does not diminish the offense it has caused to the couple and the neighborhood," Jankowski said.

"In light of Stamford being an incredibly diverse city, residents would be hard-pressed to recall another racially motivated incident like this in the last 20 to 30 years in Stamford," he said. "Our police continue to take this seriously and are approaching the investigation from all levels of the police department."

Yellow tape blocked the entrance to the home on Tuesday and a posted sign warned against trespassing on the property. 

"We are fortunate that this type of incident just does not occur in Stamford," Jankowski said. "We pride ourselves on being a welcoming city to all who come here, no matter their race, religion or national origin."

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