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Linn County Supervisor defends chalk vandalism at Cedar Rapids City Hall

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 3:08 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker says he knows not everyone will understand why he wrote chalk messages on Cedar Rapids City Hall, an act of vandalism, during a protest but that he will not be silent.

Dozens of protesters wrote chalk messages on Cedar Rapids City Hall during a protest last Saturday calling for action by the city council in response to demands for reform. Walker, who is part of the Advocates for Social Justice, which organized the rally, wrote chalk messages on the building asking individual council members to call him to talk about the issue. Cedar Rapids Firefighters started cleaning off the messages on Thursday, spraying water on the building.

Cedar Rapids Police confirmed the actions meet the legal definition for vandalism, even if the messages were written in chalk. Police officers were monitoring the protest but did not issue any citations and police say there are no plans to cite anyone involved in the chalking at this time.

Since then, Walker says he has received several complaints from people upset that an elected public official would vandalize city property.

“I certainly don’t expect everyone to understand but the point of protest is to get people to listen,” Walker told KCRG-TV9. “These folks need to understand that Black people and their allies in this community are trying to get our local government to listen to our voices.”

Walker added an apology to those who were offended by his actions but reiterated that he will do whatever it takes to be heard.

“If they have an idea about the best way to go about getting Mayor Brad Hart and the rest of city council to listen to black leaders, I invite them to share those ideas with me and with my representatives on city council,” Walker said.

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