ODNR Investigating Racially Charged Graffiti On Loveland Bike Trail
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is calling on the public to report any suspicious activity on or around Thanksgiving that resulted in racially charged graffiti on the Loveland Bike Trail, part of the Little Miami Scenic Trail.Loveland resident Bruce Leever first noticed the damage on Thanksgiving a half-mile north of Loveland near a bench dedicated to his deceased wife.
He says, "It kind of made it personal when it's there right in front of you and especially given my wife's memory and the work that she did." Judy Leever died in September 2012.
Judy Leever was Jewish and active in the Loveland food bank and the Shalom Institute.
Bruce describes the damage as including a 12-to-15 foot wide "Pepe the Frog" meme. The Anti-Defamation League lists the frog in its database of 2016 hate symbols. The league says, "a subset of Pepe memes would come into existence that centered on racist, anti-Semitic or other bigoted themes."
ODNR Spokeswoman Brooke Betit says, "ODNR personnel have covered the graffiti and the vandalism is under investigation.
Leever would like to see it go beyond that. "If it can promote some dialog or help people bring this out into the light of day... that would be my hope."