WARNING: The following story contains obscenities and may be offensive to some readers. Discretion is advised.
CORNWALL – A Cornwall woman hopes someone may have information regarding race-based graffiti that targeted her relative.
Tina Tynes-Pichette says her nephew’s car was vandalized on Lefebvre Avenue sometime overnight between Sunday and Monday (July 24-25).
Pictures of the car car show brownish-red lipstick on the side window with the N-word. One of the side mirrors is also covered.
Tynes-Pichette told Cornwall Newswatch her nephew was very shaken by what happened.
“He had to go to work that morning so at five o’clock in the morning he’s trying to wipe this graffiti and stuff off of his car. He was shook up, he was crying, he was mad, he didn’t understand why,” she said.
Tynes-Pichette says her nephew is a family man. “He’s only 22. He’s here with his girlfriend and his three-year-old child. All he does is work and support his family.”
Since the vandalism, she’s also learned a nearby park was tagged by someone who wrote “no blacks allowed” while another neighbourhood car was vandalized with the words “gay” and “sl–.”
She says her nephew gets along with neighbours but Tynes-Pichette says there was one instance recently where a verbal dispute over street parking resulted in a woman shouting the N-word at her nephew.
“And they (neighbours) told him, we think it’s too coincidental that she’s screaming that and then that (graffiti) happens. And it was done in lipstick.”
Cornwall Newswatch has since learned the graffiti was possibly done with paint pens that were found in the St. Joseph Pool on Easton Avenue after a similar tagging there.
She says the graffiti has been reported to the Cornwall Police Service. As of Wednesday morning, a CPS spokesman said they had no record of the event but that it may not be in their system because an investigation is in progress.
Tynes-Pichette says the community needs to know that racism and hatred is happening in the community and appears to be more frequent.
“It’s getting worse and nobody is talking about it, nobody is saying anything. Benson Center has n—– spray painted on the sidewalk. It’s happening all over Cornwall right now and it’s like nobody sees it. I think people should be aware and be cautious of their surroundings.”
A phone call to the Cornwall Police Service department responsible for hate crimes requesting comment for this story was not immediately returned.
A Cornwall police board meeting in May heard that only about five per cent of hate crimes are reported because of fear of reprisal, lack of trust in the police and the belief the situation may not be serious enough.
The CPS is still in the early days of collecting data and trends on hate crimes and was planning a community outreach plan this year. The board heard that Cornwall is not far behind the provincial average on addressing hate crime and “hate-motivated bias incidents” but the entire country is lagging in addressing the issue.
The CPS crime incident map shows 63 mischief incidents in the last three months up to June 21. The crime map does not specify whether incidents are hate-motivated.
If you have any information, call the Cornwall Police Service Tip Line at 613-933-5000 extension 2404 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.