“HONK IF YOU HATE N*GGERS,” the sign read on Saturday in Sumter, South Carolina
Police are on a search in South Carolina for the person who tampered with an electronic road sign, changing its text to display a racial slur.
The text on the sign, set up in the city of Sumter, was altered to display an offensive command that included the n-word. Sumter has a population of roughly 43,000 with a racial divide of roughly 49% Black and 44% white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“HONK IF YOU HATE N*GGERS,” the sign read.
The Sumter Police Department said its officers were notified about the situation around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The digital message board was placed in a high-traffic area on on South Pike West near US Route 76 in East Sumter to warn drivers about an ongoing road construction project, officials say.
The racist language on the sign has been removed, police said.
Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark characterized the incident as an extremely disturbing “scar on the city and its residents that is in no way indicative of the community where we work and live.”
We will investigate this to the fullest,” Roark said in a statement.
On Sunday, Sumter Police released screenshots of surveillance video footage that they said shows a man walking near the corrupted sign on Saturday. The department is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“Anyone who recognizes this person or knows anything about this incident is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at 803-436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC,” the department said.