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City Hall defaced with ‘disgusting racism and sexism’

A doorway is blocked by "Caution - Do Not Enter" tape and a traffic cone. A large object covered in plastic is situated next to the door.
Plastic tarps cover racist and sexist graffiti at City Hall on Wednesday. | Source: Tomoki Chien/The Standard

“Disgusting racism and sexism” was found scrawled in graffiti on the exterior of San Francisco’s City Hall overnight, drawing condemnation from Mayor London Breed, who believes she was the target of the slurs.

“This hateful act is a painful reminder of the work we still need to do,” Breed said in a video posted to her X account Wednesday. “Like many, I confront this kind of hate almost every day online.”

While not going into detail about the specific messages, the mayor called the vandalism “disgusting racism and sexism” that didn’t just target her personally. “It hurts everyone in our city,” she said.

However, Breed vowed that San Francisco would not be intimidated, stating, “Stains can be lifted” and that the city would demonstrate its resilience in the face of such acts.

The image shows an ornate building facade with tall columns and gold detailing on arched doors. "City Hall" is written above the center door. Two people walk past.
Plastic tarps cover racist and sexist graffiti at City Hall on Wednesday. | Source: Tomoki Chien/The Standard

City crews were working to remove the graffiti Wednesday morning. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is investigating what it said is “racist, misogynistic graffiti.” Police Chief Bill Scott said his department would assist deputies in the investigation in a post on X.

“We are currently reviewing video surveillance, and have increased foot patrols in and around City Hall,” a spokesperson said. “Anyone who has information about this case is urged to contact our Criminal Investigations Unit at 415-734-3111.”

The incident comes just days after a celebrated sellout event was pulled off at Civic Center Plaza.

Parisa Safarzadeh, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office, said “extremely large” graffiti of the “N-word” and “B-word” was left on the concrete slabs flanking the left and right doors of the Polk Street entrance of City Hall.

The slurs have been covered with plastic tarps and city workers are working to remove the graffiti, Safarzadeh said.

“It’s kinda crazy to me why people are still so racist,” said Ronald Nealw, 55. “You’d think we’re past that.”

He also referenced the fire at dog walker Terry Williams’s home, who had been targeted with racist threats.

“I don’t understand it—I don’t,” he said.

Mayor London Breed addresses reporters after hateful graffiti was found flanking City Hall's main entrance. | Source: Office of Mayor London Breed

Safarzadeh said Mayor London Breed assumes the slur is targeted towards her and it remains unknown whether the slurs are also directed at Vice President Kamala Harris or who marked city hall with the racist and sexist slurs.

“[Mayor Breed] feels most for the city employees, brides and grooms coming to City Hall,” Safarzadeh said. “This is a city that uplifts civil rights and diversity.”

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