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Hundreds show up to 'Erase the Hate' in Muncie

Posted at 12:35 AM, Jun 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-13 00:35:55-04

MUNCIE — Hundreds of people took a stand Friday against racial slurs and hateful messages that were spray-painted on a Muncie trail. It happened earlier in the week on the Cardinal Greenway.

The walls have a fresh coat of paint thanks to Muncie police and hundreds of community members who worked together to cover up hateful and offensive graffiti.

It's meant to be a peaceful place, a trail you can bring your family to or go for a run or bike ride. Earlier this week it became anything but.

"It is disheartening, you bring your kids here," Jeannine Lee Lake, Democratic candidate for the 6th Congressional seat, said. "You just keep your blinders on and you go but it shouldn't be."

Muncie police said they were alerted to the graffiti and knew they had to act fast. They asked the community to join them in painting over it. The response was overwhelming.

"We had the first coat probably done in 20 minutes, it was incredible," Muncie police Det. Jami Brown said.

The goal was to erase the hate.

"It was exactly what we did," Brown said. "We covered up everything here that was defamatory, racial and just bad words that little kids and families don't need to see."

"I think it is our responsibility as individuals to step up and take action and show that we are all together and unified," Peggy Lewis, a Muncie resident, said.

The walls restored to make it a place everyone can enjoy.

"You just want to go for a bike ride, you don't want to have to think, 'Oh yeah now someone doesn't think I'm a first-class citizen, doesn't think I'm a good person because of the color of my skin,'" Lake said.

City leaders said they now hope to have local artists paint murals on the trail walls.