Greenburgh Chief Confident Arrest Will be Made in Black Lives Matter Vandalism Case

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Greenburgh Police
Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney

Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney said he’s confident an arrest will soon be made in the case involving a vandalized Black Lives Matter sign on Knollwood Road.

McNerney explained to town officials last week that the department has been successful in narrowing the timeframe of the incident to a four-hour window. He said at the time the department had served Chase Bank at 1150 Knollwood Road with a subpoena to retrieve video footage to help further the investigation.

McNerney said the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office denied an extension requested by Chase Bank to convey the importance and significance of the investigation. He said the department was expected to receive the video footage last Friday.

“We’ve made some good progress so far,” McNerney said at the Town Boards May 18 Work Session meeting. “We’re pretty confident we’re going to make an arrest in this case.”

On May 13, police reported the sign reading “All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter” was uprooted during the overnight hours from the ground just hours after it was affixed to the “Welcome to Greenburgh” near 1150 Knollwood Road. Police have since labeled the case a possible bias/hate incident.

Officials added the case resulted in about $1,500 in damage to the town.

Greenburgh and the District Attorney’s Office have been working in conjunction to investigate the case and identify the parties responsible for the crime.

“It sends a message to the community that this is not going to be tolerated,” Supervisor Paul Feiner said. “Any act of vandalism of any kind or any act of hate of any kind is not acceptable in the Town of Greenburgh.”

The newly fixed signs are just the first part of a multitiered project the Greenburgh Town Board has undertaken to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The placards, which will be placed under various “Welcome to Greenburgh” signs, is the first phase of the project.

The second phase is a banner project. The idea is to have five different banners hung on five designated buildings throughout the town, with students from local school districts creating the posters. The Arts and Culture Committee will also sponsor an essay contest for the students to participate in while they create the banners.

The essay will have students answer a specific question relating to the Black Lives Matter movement. Officials said the current options is to have the students explain the meaning behind why society uses the phrase Black Lives Matter.

The last phase of the project is a mural that would feature on both sides of the overpass where I-287 stretches over Manhattan Avenue. The mural will illustrate a timeline of Black history from 1619 to today, with the mural also highlighting Greenburgh residents and their accomplishments.

Furthermore, rocks leading up to the mural would be painted red, black, and green, with certain ones labeled with the names of Black individuals who have been killed by police officers. Some rocks would be intentionally left blank in the event other fatal incidents occur.

A QR code, which is a barcode your phone can scan, would also be listed on the mural that will lead to a website with historical information and a description of certain imagines depicted in the painting. No design has currently been submitted to the town for consideration.

The town will also collaborate with the Greenburgh Central School District, youths from the Theodore D. Young Community Center and the housing authority in creating the project. Local artist Madison Hood has been tapped to design the mural.

“This is a movement to highlight the types of people who pulled that sign down. The intolerance and unwillingness to acknowledge that Blacks have been systemically discriminated against and continue to be discriminated against and nobody wants to talk about it except Black people in our own communities,” Councilman Ken Jones said. “This incident actually highlights the conversation that we would like this campaign to spur town wide.”


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