Investigation stalls into racist graffiti found in Logan

Logan • Three weeks after graffiti laden with Nazi symbols, codes and slogans appeared in a Logan High School parking lot, the local police investigation appears to have stalled.

“The case is still open, but at this point, there’s not new information coming in,” Logan City Police Department’s Capt. Curtis Hooley told the Herald Journal.

Investigators could see figures in the parking lot, Hooley said, but no identifying features. Requests for information from residents have so far likewise failed to turn up identifying details.

“We put out a Facebook request of citizens if they live down in that area if they have any footage from their doorbell cameras and things and officers tried to make contact with people down there,” Hooley said, “but we have not come up with anything. We’ve had no information that has come forward to help us to try to identify who those people might have been.”

The surveillance footage shows figures in the parking lot just before midnight July 13, Hooley said. Area resident Chris McGinty said he discovered the graffiti the next morning, took a photo and spread it to news and social media in the hopes of starting productive conversations about the expression of hate and racism.

The vandals defaced the words “Black Lives Matter” that school officials believe was previously painted by a student who’d bought permission to reserve and decorate a parking stall as part of a fundraiser by student leadership.

The Nazi graffiti, in what what appears to be a mix of black spray paint and sidewalk chalk, altered the message to read “white lives matter” and also included two swastikas, multiple social media hashtags and the number “1488,” a reference to the “14 words,” a neo-Nazi slogan, and “88,” a code for “heil Hitler” based on H being the 8th letter of the alphabet.

Local reaction to news of the graffiti ran the gamut, with several people expressing dismay at the expression of extremist racism and solidarity with the Black community, but also common was speculation that it was the work of “dumb kids.”

Local Black Lives Matter organizer Mario Mathis said the graffiti can’t be dismissed that easily. Mathis spoke with The Herald Journal on July 14, the day the graffiti was discovered. Then, as now, the vandals’ identities are unknown to the public, so barring firsthand knowledge of the crime, comments about age are speculation.

“There’s no excuse for it, and this is the fault of the adults that raised the children — if these were children,” Mathis said. “These might not even be minors that did this. If they are, that is more concerning, because these are some really complex, racist minors.”

Anyone with additional information on this incident may call the Logan City Police Department at (435)753-7555.