ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) — A Black East Bay family’s cars were targeted by vandals this weekend when someone spray painted racist graffiti across the vehicles’ doors and slashed the tires.
“I am so sorry,” a neighbor said to Fredrick Alexander. He and his family have lived in this home at Mound Street and Otis Drive in Alameda for the past 12 years.
“I am the only black neighbor on this block,” said Alexander.
His wife woke him up Sunday morning and told him someone had vandalized their cars overnight. The cars were parked on the street right in front of their home.
“It was spray painted ALM, which everyone knows is All Lives Matter,” he said.
The former U.S. Marine said he can’t understand why anyone would direct such a hurtful message at him or his family.
“I ask myself why as well, but I don’t have an answer,” said Alexander.
He said there is no question is his mind this was a hate crime, but instead of focusing on that, he wants to focus on what happened later that day.
“I cannot describe to you the outpouring of love from this community,” Alexander said.
A neighbor who runs an auto body shop brought over supplies to remove the spray paint from the cars. Others decorated his sidewalks in colorful chalk messages of love.
“It was just overwhelming. It was literally overwhelming,” Alexander said as tears ran down his face.
“A lot of people showed up, just to show the family that the Alameda community doesn’t stand for this and that we are here to support them,” said neighbor Rachel Wellman.
“Once we realized people were coming over, we decided maybe we can come over too and help out. It was kind of nice just to see it turn into more of a community thing,” says David Republicano, who also lives nearby.
“What someone meant as a harmful and hurtful act, God turned it into a beautiful outpouring of love,” said Alexander.
Alameda Police say they are investigating this incident and as well as one other where another car was spray-painted a few blocks away. So far they do not have any suspects in the case and haven’t made any arrests.