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(en) US, Media, Police Investigating Anarchist Graffiti in Spokane

Date Sat, 21 Jul 2007 10:58:33 +0300

Police are investigating a rash of graffiti that tagged numerous buildings in downtown Spokane Thursday morning. --- The graffiti scrawled allegations of corrupt police and the innocence of a protester arrested on July 4th for allegedly assaulting a police officer. ---- Clean up crews have used some paint remover and a pressure washer to wipe away a tagger's tantrum in downtown Spokane but one can still barely see the words ‘St John did no wrong’ on the window sill of the Olive Garden restaurant downtown. Almost every building along Wall Street was hit. ---- Because of the words used police are investigating if one of the protesters who demonstrated against police brutality had anything to do with it. The graffiti included anarchy symbols, swear words and the phrase ‘St. John did no wrong’ and ‘As corrupt as SPD.’

The scribbling refers to Zach St. John, a protester who was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a demonstration against police brutality.

“I think it's terrible, there's no reason for this none whatsoever,” tourist Sandra Dowding said. “It’s useless, stupid whoever wrote it there.”

Dowding didn't like it and neither did Claudia Kirkebo of the barber shop Leland’s on Wall, to see if anyone familiar with the protest in Riverfront Park tagged the wall outside her barber shop.

Police are looking at video from surveillance cameras in the area to see if it captured the vandals.

Travis Riehl is one of the protesters from the group ASAP that demonstrated on July 4th, and when asked if his group was taking responsibility for the overnight vandalism in downtown, he replied they “absolutely” did not.

Riehl, who faces federal charges for allegedly throwing a rock through a Washington National Guard office window, says ASAP is not a criminal organization. However he said the tagging “demonstrates that frustration [is] abundant in the community” and that some are willing to take personal risks in order to vandalize “corporate property to get [their] message across.”

Downtown Spokane is hit with graffiti everyday but clean-up crews says Thursday’s attack was extreme.

“It’s a never ending deal,” Sergeant Anthony Scarano from the Geiger Corrections Facility said while supervising one of the graffiti removal crews. “They put it on we take it off, they put it on, it's a cat and mouse game. But we've got a lot of cleaner.”

Spokane police say they have no leads on this graffiti right now but because of the amount of traffic downtown they hope someone saw something and will call in a tip.
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