COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — An investigation is underway after “inappropriate and racially explicit” graffiti and signage were found in Coventry.
The graffiti was first discovered by a resident on the Coventry Greenway Bike Path last Tuesday, according to a police report obtained by 12 News.
The report said the graffiti included profanity, racial slurs and anti-Semitic phrases and symbols.
That same resident also said she found concerning flyers and stickers on utility poles and street signs near Breezy Lake Beach on White Rock Road. The police report states that both appeared to be placed there by the “Patriot Front.”
The Anti-Defamation League describes the Patriot Front as a “…white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else.”
The next day, the resident reported finding additional graffiti and stickers at Rice Field, according to the report. Then on Friday, a sign was removed from a utility pole on Washington Street.
It’s unclear whether the graffiti, flyers and stickers were done by the same people.
Hate speech reports skyrocketed by 74% statewide last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Investigators are urging anyone with surveillance footage from either the bike path or the Breezy Lake neighborhood to contact the Coventry Police Department by calling (401) 826-1100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eli Sherman contributed to this report.