BALTIMORE -- Graffiti spray painted near M&T Bank Stadium and other locations in downtown Baltimore calls for violence against white people. The messages were placed on light poles along Russell Street, on outlet boxes and on a bridge.
Several people contacted WJZ after seeing them while heading to Ravens games.
Some of the tags have already been painted over on the Hamburg Street bridge.
"It doesn't get any more visible. That was the problem with where that spray paint was. It was large and in your face," said one viewer who asked us not to share her name.
She said she and her husband were walking to and from the Ravens home opener and were appalled by the messages.
"It kind of hit hard as far as us respecting our city. We love Baltimore. I was born here," she said. "I don't know how to change something this large, this divide."
She contacted us after watching WJZ's report on a swastika that was painted at a Jewish cemetery in Rosedale, Baltimore County. Brad Kauffman's mother made that disturbing discovery.
"It makes me feel angry and very sad that someone had the gall to spread this message and to vandalize the cemetery, which is supposed to be a solemn place of resting," Kauffman told WJZ. "To spread this hate and vandalize it is just really, really disturbing and just reprehensible."
There was also a flyer for the white supremacist Patriot Front recently plastered at York and Padonia Roads.
The U.S. Department of Justice reported hate and bias crimes in Maryland have been on the rise—from 19 in 2019 to 40 in 2020 to 89 in 2021.
The Anti-Defamation League reported antisemitic incidentsbetween 2021 and 2022.
The person who contacted WJZ about the downtown graffiti said hateful messages have no place here.
"It's so sad when people have to look at each other differently when everyone should just see each other in the same light, not as different races," she said. "So, it's just disturbing that we have to feel that way. It shouldn't be that way."
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