Sumter officers release footage of possible suspect in digital sign vandalism, racist phrase


The Sumter Police Department has obtained and released footage of a person suspected to have tampered with and left a racial slur on a South Carolina Department of Transportation message board.
According to Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for the police department, video footage obtained by the department showed a man walking in the area of the SCDOT sign that displayed the slur on Saturday.
McGirt said the department was declining to share what the message was changed to, nor who it was directed to. However, a Facebook post showed it was directed toward Black people. Photos and videos posted of the sign showed it saying, “Honk if you hate …” with the “N” word.
The digital message board was located on a stretch of South Pike West, a highly trafficked area of the city near Shoney’s and the U.S. 76/378 bypass, to alert drivers to an ongoing road construction project nearby. Officers were notified of the racial epithet at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, McGirt said. It has since been removed.
Anyone who recognizes this person or knows anything about this incident is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
An up to $5,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest.