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Black Family's Garage Burned, Painted With Racist Graffiti In Upstate NY

Black Family's Garage Burned, Painted With Racist Graffiti In Upstate NY

Black Family's Garage Burned, Painted With Racist Graffiti In Upstate NY

Photo by Will Waldron/Albany Times Union

Police are investigating a hate crime against a black family in upstate New York after their garage was spray-painted with a racial slur and lit on fire.

In a report from the Albany Times Union:

“Within moments, [Laquan] Madison, his wife, Jennifer, and their five children needed to race out of their home — the victims of a fire and, police say, a hate crime against the black family. Investigators arrived at their home at 29 Cold Spring Ave. around 11:40 p.m. to find a swastika and racial epithet spray-painted on the burning home in a quiet section of town, Schodack police Chief Joseph Belardo said Monday.”

It took five volunteer fire departments to stop the blaze, which burned the garage to the ground. The garage is separate from the house but close enough to it that some of the house’s exterior was damaged.

Laquan said that he discovered the fire when he woke up to use the bathroom. Fortunately, the family was not physically harmed but is emotionally traumatized.

According to Belardo, hate crimes are uncommon in Schodack, with the police chief saying he could not recall a case in his more than 20 years being a part of the town’s police force.

Since the incident, forensic evidence has been collected, while town fire investigators, arson police dogs from the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police are probing the cause and origin of the fire.


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