Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson on Wednesday issued a response to photos posted recently on social media of swastika graffiti painted on two tree trunks in Edmonds’ Pine Ridge Park.
Calling the photos “a shocking sight,” Nelson noted that the swastika “has been used for decades as a symbol of white supremacy and/or hatred towards other races and ethnicities. While we do not know if this incident was motivated by prejudice or hatred, or meant to intimidate, the presence of the swastika graffiti in our public park is very concerning and has no place in our community,” Nelson said in a Facebook post.
“At the core of the City’s values is for Edmonds to be an open, affirming and inclusive community – an example to other communities in our region,” Nelson continued. “And I believe we fulfill that value promise most every day in our activities, actions, and interactions. Yet, there is always more we can accomplish. There is always more work to do to achieve our goal of a fully equitable and inclusive city.”
“Whether purposeful or out of mischief, invoking such a powerful symbol as the swastika, infused with a history of hatred and violence, cannot be condoned. Hateful symbols should not be the subject of anyone’s public expression. We must take a stand against such abuse whenever and wherever we see it,” the mayor added.
Nelson said that the Edmonds Police Department investigated the incident, taking pictures, and interviewing observers, and forwarded the case to federal law enforcement. In addition, the mayor has instructed the city parks department “to do their best to remove or obscure the graffiti in this incident to ensure that the trails in Pine Ridge Park remain an inviting, natural respite within our urban environment.”
Members of the public are encouraged to report incidents of offensive graffiti, hate speech and vandalism to the Edmonds Police Department.