According to WBALTV News, an Annapolis, Md. woman, Chari Raye McLean, 56, was caught on security cameras defacing a Black Lives Matter sign on the property of St. Phillips Episcopal Church. McLean, who claims she isn’t a racist, was arrested and charged with destruction of property.
McLean used a can of black spray paint to blot out the word “Black” on the sign leaving the words “Lives Matter.” McLean was identified, arrested, and charged, but claims her actions were the result of her belief that all lives matter. The 50-year-old Caucasian woman said, “I’m not racist. I’m not a bigot. I just love America … Lives matter, not black lives, but all lives, any color, all lives, police especially.”
A number of signs at the church and elsewhere around Annapolis and Anne Arundel County had been defaced so police set up surveillance cameras that caught McLean in the act. “They made contact and spoke with her. She denied defacing the sign,” said Ryan Frashure, Anne Arundel County Lt. “However, they noticed she had black spray paint on her hands.”
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McClean could have been charged with a hate crime, but police concluded from her statements that she was not acting with racist intentions. “When she was being interviewed, she simply said that she disagreed with their message and she believes that all lives matter, which includes black lives. So she clearly doesn’t understand the concept behind the movement,” Frashure told reporters.
Police had previously charged McClean with defacing a BLM sign in December 2015, a case which was still pending in court. With the latest charges, she now faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for each offense. Expressing remorse McClean conceded, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it, but I don’t like hate groups and I don’t want to see our police killed.” The Episcopal church would not speak on camera but expressed hopes that the charges would be dropped and she would attend their church in the future.
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