Mayor outlines measures ‘to address hate’ after swastikas found on Southwest County Park trees

Mayor Mike Nelson 

Following a report that swastikas were recently spray-painted on the trunks of several trees at Southwest County Park, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson on Monday outlined what he called a proactive plan to address this and other “acts of hate” in the city.

According to a mayor’s office announcement, an Edmonds resident alerted the City of Edmonds and Snohomish County officials of the swastikas at the park, which is owned and managed by Snohomish County but located between Olympic View Drive and 76th Avenue in Edmonds. A coordinated effort was launched to address the situation involving the city, Snohomish County Parks and the Snohomish County Executive’s office.

The Edmonds Police Department took a police report and the Snohomish County Parks Department dispatched rangers to the areas where the incident happened. After documenting the crime, rangers were able to successfully remove the symbols.

“The use of symbols like swastikas is an act of hate, meant to harass and induce fear in those who encounter them,” Nelson said. “Such continuing acts of hate, destruction of property, and intimidation to our residents will not be tolerated. We are taking action to ensure these acts don’t take place in our parks and community in the future.”

In response, the mayor outlined the following plan:

  • The city is researching the placement of night-vision “game cameras” on and in trails and parks in citywide. The purpose of these cameras in public areas is to deter criminal behavior and to potentially aid in the apprehension of those committing crimes. Signage would be posted at entrance and egress points notifying people using the parks that, due to factors of protection and safety, those entering may be subject to surveillance. The city will ask Snohomish County to place similar surveillance cameras at Southwest County Park.
  • The city will work with community groups to develop a town hall meeting that will include information and education about what defines malicious harassment under state law, as well as other hate-related crimes.
  • The Edmonds Police Department plans to contact the Edmonds School District”to explore aiding or supporting additional harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) and diversity and inclusion training and curricula within the school district.
  • The city’s departments, including the police department, will work with community groups, the Edmonds Diversity Commission and Youth Commission, Snohomish County Parks, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the Edmonds School District, and other interested public and private groups “to positively address the root causes of such hateful incidents and provide education related to diversity and inclusion,” the mayor’s announcement said.
  1. Let’s get one of those Boston Dynamics robot doggo’s to patrol around. It’s best not to let them know that we know that we shouldn’t have the greatest reaction to the least of their efforts. Take it out on our kids for sure though, regardless.

  2. The Black in Edmonds discussion that Alicia Crank had a very good discussion about hated in this community and discussions around free speech.

    As multiple guests noted, “Free speech great. Hate speech not OK.”

    The more that we can promote open dialogue without hate speech against one another, the better off we will all be. Whether that hate speech is based on race, religion, or occupation, it is never productive for anyone.

  3. 100% that was just some kids using a lesson from history class to do something stupid they will regret later. We do not have nazis in Edmonds, its way too boring here for that.

    1. You are correct. But we do have Alt Right and far far leftists….wanna be Socialists. That we do have. Both are anarchists in their own right. Their behaviors, think Seattle, are about violence. Both sides.
      Some just reasonable minded people as our Mayor and Council would be a breath of fresh air to the majority of citizens in EDMONDS. This manipulation, last minute changes, in many ways, secrets…oh I bet there are some secrets going on that will blow your mind…eventually secrets are truths found. Always.
      So read citizens, find out everything you can. Report issues, places that are unsafe to walk due to bad curbs, sidewalks that need to be fixed to prevent falling. Report them. Date, time and place. Once reported the city is put on notice. Yes, this sounds aggressive because it is. But it is peaceful aggression, no violence required….just get it on record. No more fairytale world for Edmonds until it’s a fairytale for everyone.

    2. Perfectly stated by the white privileged guy that hasn’t experienced racism?! Wow get out of your bubble dude.

  4. Is gang grafetti considered hateful or just vandalism? There was huge tagging spray painted on a condo building wall across from the parking lot at Brackett Landing and it was there for weeks before the homeowners association had it painted over (thank you!)

    I didn’t see any press release from the city. Just curious.

  5. Maybe these are children outside of Edmonds. Let us clean it up with less talk, and less “I am offended” would be better.

    1. Racist kids are still racist. Less “I am offended”… really Carl? . The is awful and you are belittling a serious issue. Be a better human.

  6. Instead of the Wokie concerns of “urban art” or vandalism and walkable main streets, shouldn’t Mayor Nelson be filling potholes??

    …just sayin’

  7. I emailed the city late last summer to address needles I found in Ballinger park near my home. I had to turn around with my kids and try to explain to a 5 year old why they couldn’t play at their park. I received two responses, and the only one that proved to result in any action was from former police chief Jim Lawless. He called me personally to discuss the issue. Not saying this isn’t an issue in itself, but as others have said, BASIC city needs need to be addressed first.

  8. I seem to be constantly jogging back and forth avoiding potholes. If the Mayor provides the equipment, and drives the truck, I will give two days of my time with a shovel.

  9. Thank you for addressing hate. Even if it comes from “just kids”, some of the “kids” carry on the habit for a lifetime.

    1. Of course. Hate is a terrible thing. I don’t think we have anything to worry about with this. I really don’t. It is offensive of course to anyone who is Jewish particularly. For them I say I am sorry you had to hear of this. BUT I am bettin that they have felt and seen much worse.. It is us letting a bunch of punks fooling around trying to get the attention they so badly needed at some point and didn’t get, so they are looking for it now. Would anyone agree with this. I have lived in Edmonds 32 years and never heard at racial slur to be honest. But I don’t get around a lot. I don’t frequent bars etc. I love to cook so I do my own cooking. I tried to join a couple groups and boy was I shined on!! If it makes anyone feel any better you can be white as the driven snow, have plenty of money and education and still not be good enough for Edmonds.. Apparently.

  10. Wow there sure is a lot of dismissive privilege in these responses. Not surprised but is very sad to see so many Edmonds residents making light of this. Be Better Humans. I can’t believe you are comparing the need to potholes to be fixed to racist Incidents in our community this display and response is offensive and intimidating and hurtful to our residents and guest. So awful.

    1. What do you define as privileged Martha? That’s quite accusatory, you don’t know anyone’s background here. That’s very narrow minded mentality. That’s what is sad .

        1. Did anybody notice the mayor wants camera’s. Just another way to control.

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