Police investigating racist graffiti on Sylmar buildings

LOS ANGELES - The walls are cleanly painted now but hours earlier, at least six locations in Sylmar were spraypainted with a vile two-word racist message aimed at African Americans we would not repeat.

"It's hateful, .. we don't condone this.. we're going to devote a lot of resources to finding out who did this," said Mission Division Captain Michael Odle of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Out on Foothill Boulevard, it appears no one even knew what had happened. Because the hateful message was apparently spraypainted during the overnight or early morning hours, police were able to mobilize their anti-graffiti resources early enough to remove the graffiti by the late morning.

Police called the graffiti an "aberration."  

Not everyone necessarily agrees with the hateful messages being an aberration. Rev. James Thomas, newly-elected President of the NAACP San Fernando Valley branch, said he wasn't surprised at what happened. 

"It shows what's in people's hearts," Rev. Thomas said.

He blames the current political climate we're in for, in his words, ''normalizing'' racism, and he says he won't stand for it.

He said the only question is ''Who did it? And in the San Fernando Valley, there are several possibilities." 

Detectives are canvassing for witnesses, and have a lot of security camera footage to look through, as of this writing no clear leads. The Captain did tell me he did not think it was a gang rivalry type of thing, but that's not the final word. 

Meantime, Robin Toma, longtime head of LA County's Commission on Human Relations, who says overall hate crimes have been trending up for years with African Americans the largest targeted group overall, and the second-largest target specifically involving racial hate crimes. Toma directs us to a relatively new LA County website, which features lots of resources on fighting hate, on standing up for what's right and even on reporting hate crimes, which can be as simple as dialing 2-1-1. 

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.