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October 4, 2019 (Moscow, Idaho) -- Moscow City Council Candidates and citizens targeted with graffiti and vandalism of political signs and property in Moscow, ID. Vandalism consisting of spray-painting political signs for James Urquidez, Moscow City Council Candidate, was first reported after midnight on October 3, 2019. Since that report, vandalism has spread to political signs for Kelsey Berends, Moscow City Council Candidate, as well as a vehicle belonging to another individual not running for office.
"These blatant acts of vandalism are disrespectful of our community. The destruction of others' property, especially in the democratic process of an election, is absolutely unacceptable. This goes against everything our community holds dear," said Mayor Bill Lambert.
Both Urquidez and Berends have correctly filed for and managed their campaigns as required by State and Local Statutes.
As these attacks appear to focus on a specific individual or individuals, the City's Human Rights Commission (HRC) expressed concern about potential targeted discrimination. "The vandalism of political signs or property is not acceptable, especially if it is to target any specific group," said Ken Faunce, HRC Chair. "Moscow is an inclusive community, and this type of behavior has no place in our town. The Moscow Human Rights Commission denounces any discrimination or the targeting of individuals or groups within our community. Moscow is better than this."
Idaho State Statute outlines the penalty for these acts in Title 18 Crimes and Punishments, Chapter 70 section 18-7008, Trespass; 18-7001, Malicious Injury to Property; and 18-7036 Injury by Graffiti. All three crimes are misdemeanors until costs of damage to property exceeds $1,000, making it a felony offense. Convictions for committing these crimes could result in incarceration and fines.
The City is requesting assistance from the community in identifying the individual or individuals responsible for these actions. If anyone has information that may be helpful, they are asked to call 208-882-COPS. Specifically, property owners with security systems, including video, are requested to review footage from the last several nights in the area the vandalism took place.
Story Contact: Will Krasselt, Police CaptainPhone: 208-883-7127Email: email@example.com