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Racist message posted on road sign in Sumter, police investigating

The sign was along a stretch of road where construction was taking place.

SUMTER, S.C. — Sumter Police are investigating after someone tampered with a state South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) road sign to post a racist message.

The message board was located on South Pike West street near the US 76/378 bypass, police say. The sign belongs to a paving company and was put there to notify people about ongoing road construction in that area. 

But someone was able to change the sign's message to display a racial slur. Officers say they were told about the message around 4:30 p.m. 

Police say the slur was then removed. Officers have obtained video footage of a man walking away from the area and are hoping someone might recognize this person.

Credit: Sumter Police
Sumter Police have released a video surveillance image of a person of interest in a case of sign vandalism.

“We will investigate this to the fullest,” Chief Russell Roark said, describing the incident as extremely disturbing, “a scar on the city and its residents that is in no way indicative of the community where we work and live.”

Anyone with information or who may have seen this person of interest near the board is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700.

Tips can also be given anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. An up to $5,000 cash reward will be available for information leading to an arrest(s).

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