ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Ann Arbor police are now offering a $2,000 reward for help to identify three young men in connection with racist graffiti near the University of Michigan campus.
Three men were caught on surveillance camera spraying painting over a mural last month in a downtown Ann Arbor alley.
Police Det. Matthew Lige says the graffiti included hate speech and a racial slur.
“It was one block , roughly one block from central campus, right near the State Street/Liberty corridor. It’s a highly traveled area,” Lige told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. “I suspect that the individuals that chose to spray-paint their message in the alley knew that it was going to be highly public and highly visible, and in doing so they damage property that was not theirs.”
The graffiti also included the phrase, “Free Dylann Roof” — referring to a white supremacist convicted last year in a mass shooting at a Charleston church.
Members of the community, including local businessman Joe Malcoun, have contributed to the reward being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.
“This isn’t about a mural or graffiti or even vandalism. This is about a hateful ideology that has absolutely no place in our community and we won’t tolerate at it in any way,” Malcoun said, in a statement.
Suspect number one is described as a white male in his 20s, 5’9” to 6′ tall with light-colored hair. He was wearing a dark-colored t-shirt with tan-colored cargo pants.
Suspect two is also a white male in his 20s, 5’9” to 6′ tall. He was wearing a light-colored knit or stocking cap, dark-colored jacket and pants and carrying a backpack.
Suspect three is another white male in his 20s, 5’9” to 6′ tall with dark-colored hair and eyeglasses on top of his head. He was wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt and pants and was carrying a backpack.
Police said suspect three was the one responsible for spray-painting the wall, while the other two young men acted as lookouts.
Anyone who can identify these suspects or who has any information about this incident is asked to call the Ann Arbor Police Department Tip Line at 734.794.6939 or email TIPS@a2gov.org.