SUMTER, S.C. (WCBD) – A South Carolina teenager accused of altering a digital message board to display a racist phrase was arrested over the weekend.
Authorities said the sign was originally being used to alert drivers about a road improvement project in a high traffic area in Sumter but the message was altered to display a racist message.
The offensive message was reported to the Sumter Police Department on Saturday. Police said the 17-year-old is not associated with the company or any other parties tied to the improvement project.
Chief Russell Roark promised to fully investigate the incident and called it a “scar on the city and its residents that is in no way indicative of the community where we work and live.”
The agency shared photos of the suspect on Facebook and said they reviewed a surveillance video to help identify the teen, who faces a charge of aggravated breach of peace after being arrested on Sunday. The teen is being held in a state Department of Juvenile Justice facility.
“The words and thoughts in this altered message are disturbing, deeply hurtful and are not indicative of our city,” Chief Russell Roark said. “We had a responsibility to our citizens to act quickly in this matter. The damage can’t be undone, but it was important for us to hold the person responsible for this accountable and prevent further incidents like this from happening.”