OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Vandals spray-painted racist, anti-gay and anti-Semitic remarks outside the headquarters of the Oklahoma Democratic Party and offices of the Chickasaw Nation, officials said Thursday, and police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes.
Racist and anti-Semitic graffiti as well as anti-LGBTQ epithets were spray painted on the front door, walkway and other areas outside the state Democratic Party headquarters in Oklahoma City, said former Democratic Gov. David Walters, who owns the building with his wife, Rhonda. Swastikas were also spray-painted onto the doors.
The building houses other tenants, but Anna Langthorn, executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said she believes the graffiti targeted the party.
"It does specifically say Democrats and has an arrow pointed at the door," she said.
The Chickasaw Nation's Oklahoma City office was also hit by vandals who spray-painted derogatory graffiti similar to that found on the state Democratic Party headquarters, tribal spokesman Tony Choate said.
The graffiti was discovered Thursday morning as employees of the tribe, based in Ada, reported for work. Derogatory remarks about various groups were spray-painted outside the building, located less than one mile north of the Oklahoma State Capitol.
In a statement, Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said it's "very disheartening to see our building defaced by this type of hateful message which is so out of place for Oklahoma."
"We believe it is important to move past this isolated incident and focus our attention on the important work we do," Anoatubby said.
The Oklahoma City Police Department is investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.