ROYAL OAK (WWJ) — A rally and march occurred this afternoon in Royal Oak after racist graffiti — that included swastikas — was spray painted on garage doors, fences and other property in a neighborhood over the weekend.
Marchers gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Church. The group included members of the faith community, concerned citizens and activists. Carmen Watgel of Together for One Royal Oak is one of the event organizers, and she said their message is simple “hate has no home in Royal Oak.”READ MORE: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan
“It’s imperative, it’s our moral obligation to stand against white supremacy whenever we can,” Watgel told WWJ Newsradio 950. “We all must be louder and we all must make it clear that he has no home here in any of our communities.”READ MORE: 2022 Ford Fireworks: City Of Detroit Provides Information On Closures, Restrictions, & Parking
The vandalism of cars, homes and fences took place in the area of Woodward Avenue, between 11 Mile Road and Catalpa, not far from the downtown area. Nazi symbols appeared in red spray paint, according to police, along with the phrase “white power” at several locations.
Police did catch the person responsible for the vandalism, but say no charges will be issued because of the person’s mental state. While looking into the case, police said it became obvious to investigators that the individual in question was in need of immediate help for what seems to be serious mental health issues.MORE NEWS: City Of Inkster To Host Expungement And Community Resource Fair
The Royal Oak Police Department arranged to have the young man evaluated by mental health professionals and are now working with state agencies to get him into a long-term treatment center. The suspect is in his 20’s, is a minority of Asian descent. He does have a criminal history, but it’s a non-violent one.