SLCPD investigating incident at Bonneville Elementary as a hate crime

Dec 17, 2023, 3:56 PM | Updated: Dec 18, 2023, 5:55 pm

A close up photo of red spray paint written on a Salt Lake City elementary school on Sunday, Dec. 1...

A close up photo of red spray paint written on a Salt Lake City elementary school on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. (Salt Lake City Police Department)

(Salt Lake City Police Department)

UPDATE — On Monday, Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown said police are investigating this as a hate crime.

Bonneville Elementary community spreads messages of love after hate crime vandalism

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department says an incident at Bonneville Elementary is being investigated as a potential hate crime.

According to a news release from SLCPD, a citizen discovered hate speech sprayed on the school’s property just after 11 a.m. Sunday. The school is located at 1145 S. 1900 East.

Once on scene, law enforcement personnel found hate speech in red and purple pain and white chalk.

The incident included “racist, homophobic and antisemitic hate speech,” according to the news release. Police also say hate speech toward people living with physical disabilities was also discovered.

The school district and police are working together to review video surveillance footage from the school.

Statement from school leaders

On Sunday, Karen Holman, principal of Bonneville Elementary, sent an email out to families with students attending the school. The email was forwarded to KSL TV by a district spokesperson. Part of the statement read as follows:

Make no mistake: this type of speech is unacceptable, and as principal of Bonneville Elementary, I condemn any act of hate, whether in action, word, or deed. There is no place in our community for such hate, and I want every student, staff member, and parent/guardian to know how much we value each of you. Every member of our community deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter what.

Police are asking residents who live near the school to check their home security systems to see if they have anything that could help the investigation.

Additionally, police also say if you have any information on this case, you are asked to contact SLCPD at 801-799-3000 and reference case number 23-282047.

KSL 5 TV Live

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SLCPD investigating incident at Bonneville Elementary as a hate crime