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Racial slur displayed outside New Kent home not considered hate crime

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. — A racial slur painted on a table and displayed outside a New Kent home for passing drivers to see was not considered a hate crime, the New Kent Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook. The reason, they said, was because the person who created the “N****** 4 Sale” sign lives in the home and placed it on his own property along the 5300 block of New Kent Highway.

New Kent County Sheriff Joe McLaughlin said deputies spoke with the man for more than two hours Friday morning.

At the end of the discussion, he said the man agreed to turn the table over. Later on Friday, the message was back on display.

“Our office responded to the residence and spoke to the resident and thought that we had the issue resolved,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook. “We have found out the sign was placed back up. We are currently trying to work with the resident to have the sign removed.”

When asked why the sign’s creator, who the sheriff confirmed was an African-American man, displayed the message, the sheriff replied “that’s the way he’s feeling.”

“The message is not the message of New Kent County,” Sheriff McLaughlin said. “It’s unfortunate. We’re dismayed he decided to display the message. The word is offensive. We’re trying our best to work with him to have it taken down.”

“It was shocking to see along the roadside on my way to work,” one witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBS 6 News. “I’m concerned how many school buses full of children passed the sign. New Kent has been a close-knit, caring community for all people, of every race, creed and background and should continue to be.”

This is a developing story.

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