By MICHELLE MONROE
ALBURGH – A Black Lives Matter sign was defaced in Alburgh earlier this week and windows on three vehicles shot out, Grand Isle Sheriff Ray Allen confirmed for the Islander today.
An ‘O’ was painted in front of the word “Lives,” changing the wording. The letters BLM were also painted inside a circle with a slash through it.
The most serious damage was to the three vehicles at the residence with the sign, whose windows were shot out with a pellet or airsoft gun, according to Allen.
The vandalism occurred between 10:30 p.m. on Monday and 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Allen said.
The Grand Isle Sheriff’s Department is seeking information into the incident. Tips may be left anonymously on the department’s website, grandislesheriffvt.org, or by calling 802-372-4482.
The incident follows a decision by the Alburgh selectboard in June not to approve a declaration of inclusion proposed by a community members. Similar declarations have been adopted by the state and numerous communities, including Milton and South Hero.
The proposed declaration stated Alburgh “condemns racism” and “welcomes all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age, or disability, and will protect these classes to the fullest extent of the law.”
In the wake of that decision, a group of Alburgh residents have gotten together to “look at town policies and draft an Alburgh specific declaration of inclusion,” according to community member Ashley Bowen.
In an email to The Islander, Bowen said the group was not responding to a specific incident or situation of bias that occurred in Alburgh and instead just wanted “to do what is right and fair.”