Public display of a racial slur sparks outrage in Rochester

Rochester community members outraged by public display of racial slur

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(ABC 6 News) – Towering above East Circle Drive in Rochester, sits a pedestrian bridge that’s now the talk of the town.

Over the weekend a racial slur posted on the chain link fence of the pedestrian bridge has community members outraged.

“Nothing like that ever happens. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it like that,” said Trevor Strohschein.

“I don’t like it, I think we should spread more positivity around. Whoever did it was just not in the right mindset at the time. I think whoever did it should turn themselves in because it’s just not right,” said Strohschein.

“I think they probably thought it was funny for some reason, but it wasn’t and people definitely got offended by it, and there’s no room for that here,” said Nathan Melsness.

With the bridge just steps from Century High School it prompted a response from school officials saying in part:

We understand and share the hurt this has caused to people in our community, especially to our Black and brown students. We want to reiterate that hate language, in any form, has no place within our RPS community.

Wale Elegbde with the NAACP of Rochester is demanding action from authorities.

“What do you want little kids to think what do you want business owners to think what do you want just regular community members to think so this has the brought with the seriousness that it is,” said Elegbade.

He says this is a hate crime, and whoever is responsible should be held accountable.

“What happened should not have occurred. It’s not the first time we have seen this, but this is something that is so visible that we need to come up with a statement ‘not in our town’. We want our children to feel safe, we want our community members to feel safe and what got displayed what not just something that should be taken lightly,” said Elegbede.

The message has since been removed from the bridge.

ABC 6 News has reached out to Rochester Police, but has not received a comment confirming an investigation.