Graffiti in Holland uses offensive slurs, encourages violence against police

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HOLLAND, Mich. - Malicious graffiti has been popping up on government buildings, more than 50 homes, and even churches throughout Holland since December 2nd.

Holland police believe the vandalism carries a message that's anti-police specific to their department. Some of the tags infer violence against Holland Police, using offensive slurs and other messages of violence.

"HPDK, HPD being Holland Police Department," said Captain Jack Dykstra. "K, typically when it's used in graffiti refers to killer, so obviously that's concerning to us."

Police estimate the damage to be $15,000. The city has done everything they can to remove the vandalism in a timely manner, but stains can still be seen on many city walls.

Police are asking for the community's support in getting the names of the individuals, offering a $5,000 reward if your tip leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. And it's sparked an initiative of 'Good Samaritan Holland Ministries,' to start a social media movement using the hashtag #shinedowngraffiti. Andrew Spidahl, Neighborhood Connector for Washington School Neighbors, said it's a simple movement that anyone in the neighborhood can join in on.

"Basically having neighbors to leave a porch light on, to find those places that might be less lit," said Spidahl.

They're offering free energy efficient light bulbs to neighbors interested in leaving a light on, and they're open to new ideas to help bring justice to the community.

"When the graffiti started appearing, we wanted to respond in a healthy way," said Spidahl. "That says we’re engaged, that we want to contribute but we’re not angry and it’s not a backlash."

The investigation is currently ongoing and if you have any information, you're encouraged to call the Ottawa Co. Silent Observer at 616-842-4910.

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