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Black Lives Matter Banner Vandalized Outside Westport Church

Westport Police are investigating the vandalism of a "Black Lives Matter" banner outside the Unitarian Church.
Westport Police are investigating the vandalism of a "Black Lives Matter" banner outside the Unitarian Church. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- A "Black Lives Matter" banner hanging outside a church in Westport was cut off and ripped from its metal frame, according to police.

The incident took place in the overnight hours between Wednesday, Aug. 23 and Thursday, Aug. 24 at the Unitarian Church in Westport. The banner was hanging on private property, police said.

"Given the current climate in this country and in the state of Connecticut, the administration of the town of Westport and the Westport Police Department will not stand for this behavior," said First Selectman Jim Marpe. "We will dedicate our resources to identifying the person or persons responsible for this vandalism. We urge our community to be respectful of the opinions of others and their right to express them, even if they may differ from their own. Hatred and bigotry are not welcome here."

Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas mirrored Marpe's expression.

"We support and respect the Unitarian Church, its members and their message of inclusiveness, equality and tolerance. The police department is working with the church administration to prevent further incidents," Koskinas said.

The Connecticut Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League stated that it will work with the community to address the situation, offering its support and resources to the town, police department and Unitarian Church.

Anyone with information regarding the person(s) responsible is asked to contact the Westport Police Department Detective Bureau at (203) 341-6080.

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