Society

Cops: Woman Vandalized 'Black Lives Matter' Sign Twice

| by Michael Allen
Chari McLeanChari McLean

Chari McLean was charged for allegedly defacing a "Black Lives Matter" sign that hung at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland, on April 21.

Police who investigated the incident found the word "Black" was spray-painted out, leaving the sign to read "Lives Matter," notes the Capital Gazette.

The cops arrested McLean on the same evening at her home.

In addition to saying, "Black Lives Matter," the the church's pastor Rev. Randy Callender said the sign also stated, "join us in the conversation," to start a dialogue about racism.

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"It shows someone would rather vandalize the sign than have a conversation," Callender told the newspaper.

Law enforcement said 56-year-old McLean was also charged on March 1 for defacing the same sign at St. Philip's, and now faces two charges of destruction of property, reports WBFF.

McLean told the Capital Gazette that she was waving an American flag in the church's area on April 21, but did not vandalize the sign.

He added that this is the seventh "Black Lives Matter" sign the church has put up since December 2015.

In December 2015, McLean admitted to defacing a St. Philip's "Black Lives Matter" banner.

"I love black people." McLean told the Capital Gazette at the time. "I love Americans and I love our police and our military and our veterans. You can't [incite] violence, that's what that sign did."

McLean didn't offer any proof of the incitement of violence, but did say that she waves an American flag at an intersection from her wheelchair because she loves this country and it's the only way she can show it. 

Callender told the newspaper at the time:

If people disagree with the message I prefer that they come to us and join us in conversation instead of retaliating out of anger and fear. I think people just don't understand where we are coming from.

When people react out of anger or fear, the situation gets worse. It's better to talk about it because we can see where each side is coming from.

We're not saying "only black lives matter." People assume that other lives – white, Hispanic and others – don't matter. Instead, we're inviting all people to come to the table to join us in conversation.

The police say a total of 12 signs have been reported stolen since Oct. 16, 2015, four signs have been damaged at St. Philip's and three more have been vandalized at other local churches.

Sources: WBFF, Capital Gazette (2) / Photo Credit: Annapolis Police via WBFF

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