Graffiti problem frustrates Central West End neighborhood - KMOV.com

Graffiti problem frustrates Central West End neighborhood

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Some St. Louis residents are infuriated after someone spray painted racist graffiti in their neighborhood. 

It was on a building directly across from several homes near the Central West End.

Before the red paint went on the wall of a vacant building in Fountain Park, the words “alcohol,” “dope” and “white folks” could be read by passersby.

But it was another word that upset longtime resident Jessica Crawford, who lives just across the street.

In bright yellow letters, someone spray painted derogatory word aimed at African-Americans.

News 4 contacted St. Louis’ cleaning group Operation Brightside, and crews were out within the hour.

According to the group, that particular building has been vandalized at least a dozen times in the past year.

“It’s something about when it gets hot,” said Crawford. “You’re going to see that done at least five or six more times before the summer is up.”

Operation Brightside tries to clean it up as fast as possible. Mary Lou, a member of the organization, says this recent graffiti couldn’t have been up long.

“I can tell you it hasn’t been very long because every time the neighborhood sees graffiti on this property they report it,” she said. “We’ve already been out here at least once this month.”

Operation Brightside says it spends about $300,000 a year cleaning up graffiti.

The graffiti hasn’t always contained racist language, but Crawford says she’s sad to see it happen to her childhood neighborhood.

“This is a neighborhood I was in when I was a kid,” she said. “It was a whole lot different, a whole lot different.”

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