Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday condemned the burglary and racist graffiti at a Delano home belonging to a black family that has left the town after also receiving an arson threat.
The home of Latanza Douglas, her husband and their three foster children was burglarized and vandalized last Sunday. A note left at the residence threatened: “Next time it’s going to be fire.”
Along with the threatening messages, several electronic gaming systems were stolen, according to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
“Just horrible,” Dayton said Friday. “So un-Minnesotan, so illegal, so immoral. I denounce it in the strongest possible terms.”
On Saturday, Dayton met privately with the family to express condolences on behalf of all Minnesotans.
The family has now moved to a more diverse northwest suburb, according to Naresh Uppal, whose company built the home and will buy it back as they try to start fresh.
Dayton praised Uppal and “others who have stepped forward to express, as I do, their solidarity with the family.”
Local police said the graffiti included racially offensive symbols. The vandalism also could be investigated by federal authorities if it’s classified as a hate crime.
Since the incident, members of the Delano community, including local officials, have expressed support for the Douglas family, which had just moved to the town, population about 5,600, in December. The community plans to hold a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Sunday in the City Hall parking lot to launch an antiracism action called Delano United.