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A West St. Paul couple is being targeted with racial slurs and threats. Seven times in the last year Daryl and Christine Morrison, who are Black, have found racist graffiti at their apartment complex. Five incidents happened last spring and then two more this past week. On Tuesday night the couple discovered the ‘n’ word carved into their door and then the next day someone drew a stick figure being hanged on their door.
“I grabbed the cat and shut the door immediately,” Christine Morrison told the Pioneer Press, adding that she called her husband and told him he needed to come home. Previous incidents directly threatened Christine. “I’m scared to death. Words are OK, but when you actually write something like that—and plus with what’s going on in the world right now—I don’t feel safe here. And I’ve been here for 15 years.”
An investigation by the West St. Paul Police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) in the spring led to a dead end, though the incidents stopped.
“My mind automatically got to churning, ‘Who would do this?’ ” said Daryl Morrison. “And, ‘Why would they do this? Why would it resurface?’ ”
The Morrisons have lived in their first-floor apartment on Allen Avenue for two years and haven’t had any major issues with their neighbors. The building is locked to the general public.
Daryl Morrison expressed frustration with the police response, wanting more proactive follow up. He’s also spoken with the FBI who investigate hate crimes.
“We are taking this very, very seriously and we’ll do everything we can to find out who the culprits are and hold them responsible,” said West St. Paul Police Chief Brian Sturgeon.
Jan. 26, 2021 Update: More Incidents
Two more incidents have happened in the last 24 hours, one after the Morrisons spoke at the January 25 City Council meeting expressing their frustration with the police response. The issue will be addressed by the public safety committee next week.
April 27, 2021 Update: Escalation
Daryl Morrison spoke before City Council last night, again complaining about the police response. The police and FBI still have an open investigation but haven’t made any progress. Morrison’s actions since January have escalated the situation, resulting in his neighbors filing restraining orders against him. The latest is summarized in our City Council recap.
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