The sudden appearance of a racist slur on a pedestrian bridge near Century High School in Rochester has prompted a police investigation, city officials say. The slur, commonly used against Black people, was spelled out using plastic cups to plug holes in a fence on the bridge over East Circle Drive.

"As a city organization, we strongly condemn this action," city officials wrote in a statement on social media. "Racism, language that perpetuates hate and all prejudice contradicts the values the city holds."

The NAACP Rochester Branch posted about the slur on social media and said "This #hatecrime will not stand in our community!"

Chapter President Walé Elegbede said the organization is planning a slate of community events to shed light on the incident and in a statement asked anyone with information about it to "come forward and assist in holding the perpetrator(s) accountable."

"Silence only serves to perpetuate injustice," he said.

The Rochester NAACP will host a rally at the bridge Saturday at 9 a.m. Elegbede said the organization will also host a town hall with local students next week and a community conversation the week of April 29. Location and other details to come. The NAACP is also asking local students to submit essays about racism they've encountered throughout their lives.

"We want to use this opportunity for critical reflection and positive and healthy action," Elegbede said.

Rochester Public Schools officials wrote in a statement that although the incident did not take place on school property, they "believe that it is the collective responsibility of the RPS community to be actively and intentionally anti-racist, both individually and collectively."

"We understand and share the hurt this has caused to people in our community, especially to our Black and brown students," officials said. "We want to reiterate that hate language, in any form, has no place within our RPS community."