Portsmouth resident worried vandalism could be hate crime

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — On Friday night, several residents at the Independence Square Apartments woke up to white crosses spray painted on their doors.

“Definitely feeling unsafe, violated, I don’t think anybody should do this to somebody,” said Nagie Smith. 

Worried the symbol was more than just graffiti, she called police. 

“Back in the 50s and 40s, KKK would burn a white cross in a black family’s neighborhood that they didn’t want in their neighborhood, or they didn’t approve of them, so that white cross significance of racism,” she explained. 

She says the officers got there and told her to take it up with her leasing office, so a report was never filed. 

Officials confirm officers were dispatched to her home but their records don’t mention the vandalism.

Alarmed by their lack of response, she reached out to 10 On Your Side.

“Just want it made aware in Portsmouth that you have people going around doing this, you know, watch your house, watch your kids, watch your surroundings.”

Smith found out she wasn’t the only one who was hit when she went to tell the apartment’s management. 

“I was standing in there and she was actually getting a call from another building where white crosses were put on them. That’s when it went from personal to ‘oh, oh now I see what’s going on,'” she stated. 

A woman running the front desk at the leasing office says they received three or four reports from people who live there with the same symbol on their door. 

An officer was sent to Smith’s apartment to file a police report earlier Monday.

Officials say they are investigating the incidents, and right now it’s unclear if this was a hate crime.  

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