Kirkwood students march to police station calling for justice over racist graffiti painted on schools

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KIRKWOOD, Mo (KMOX) updated Wednesday - A crowd of more than 100 students carrying signs and chanting for justice left campus on their way to the Kirkwood Police Station on Wednesday.

Earlier that day, police announced the arrest of three people, two adults who were charged and one juvenile, for spray painting racist graffiti on Kirkwood High School and two other schools in the district.

Originally, some of the protesters were calling for hate crime charges against the perpetrators, but that has changed now that one of the people accused is Black.

A student participating in the march said this has become a "complex issue" that should be left up to the prosecutor.

The march route was about a mile and a half long.

Previous reporting:
Police say they've arrested three people and charged two of them for writing “racist and derogatory” statements in spray paint on Kirkwood High School and two other schools.

Christian Reese, 18 and Daniel Moore, 18, were both charged with property damage for the damage reported at all three locations. Based on the nature of the graffiti, all three incidents are believed to be related, police say.

vandals at Kirkwood
Photo credit (Kirkwood Police Dept.)

A third suspect, who is a juvenile police say, was arrested but their case case will be referred to the St. Louis County Family Court for consideration.

Previous reporting:

Two other schools in the district were also defaced that evening and police believe they are connected. You can see video of the suspects at the top of this page.

"On Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, at 5:56 PM, these 3 (three) unknown individuals entered the east alley way of the Kirkwood High School, via the West Jewell cut thru, and spray painted graffiti on the High School wall," stated Kirkwood Police. "One culprit appears to have on eye glasses and there is a notable distinct pattern on the back of his hoodie.

suspects

A student found the graffiti at the high school Wednesday evening. Maintenance staff checking all the district’s schools found graffiti later that night at Nipher and North Kirkwood middle schools.

The vandalized areas were cleaned overnight Wednesday, said Superintendent Dave Ulrich, who promised to work with police to ensure a “complete investigation” of the incidents.

“Several students did see the vandalism, and I am receiving reports of social media posts … we will immediately address this situation with students and staff members to reinforce that this is not how we conduct ourselves as Pioneers,” high school Principal Michael Havener wrote in an email to parents.

Anyone who can help identify the individuals or who can assist the police with the investigation are asked to contact Detective Jennifer Burton at 314-984-6902 or Burtonjl@kirkwoodmo.org.

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