Metro, Newton

Racist Epithet Found Written on Sidewalk in Newton

A racist epithet written in masking tape was found on the sidewalk at the intersection of Albemarle Road and Watertown Street on Sunday night, according to Newton Police. The incident is currently under investigation by the Newton Police Department.

The incident report from the Newton Police Department noted that the reporting party had walked on Albemarle Road earlier in the day and had not noticed anything before walking back and seeing the tape. Newton police arrived at the scene at around 7:30 p.m. Police removed the tape from the sidewalk .  

“This is not who we are as a community,” Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said in a statement. “Newton stands united against racial discrimination and all forms of hate. All residents should feel safe here. We reaffirm our core principles of respect, diversity and acceptance.”

Lt. Bruce Apotheker, the civil rights officer at Newton Police, detailed the steps that the department will take to address this incident, including canvassing the area, checking for video surveillance footage, and trying to locate where the masking tape was purchased. 

“We’ll do whatever we can to try to find out who the person or persons that are responsible for doing this,” Apotheker said.

The incident came after an anti-racism rally last Friday, held by students of Newton North High School. The Newton Police Department has one registered report of the use of a racial slur—a video of a student from another school district using a racial epithet that was circulated among students of Newton North, Apotheker said. The rally was also a response to three other instances of students using racial slurs in school and on social media, according to Wicked Local. 

Principal Henry Turner emailed parents of Newton North students regarding the incident and addressed the school committee on students’ alleged use of racist epithets against both black and Asian students, according to the Patch

Fuller’s statement also urged anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Apotheker at 617-796-2103.The Anti-Defamation League, the Newton Human Rights Commission, and Newton Public Schools have been notified of the incident, according to a tweet from Fuller’s office.

Featured Image by Keara Hanlon/for The Heights

February 20, 2020