“Black Lives Matter” banner ripped, cut off from frame at Westport church

WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A church in Westport was vandalized sometime during the overnight hours of Wednesday to Thursday, officials say.

The Unitarian Church in Westport’s “Black Lives Matter” banner was cut off and ripped from its metal frame. According to police, the frame was hanging on private property.

First Selectman Jim Marpe said Westport will not stand for that type of behavior.

“Given the current climate in this country and in the State of Connecticut, the Administration of the Town of Westport and the Westport Police Department will not stand for this behavior. We will dedicate our resources to identifying the person or persons responsible for this vandalism. We urge our community to be respectful of the opinions of others and their right to express them, even if they may differ from their own. Hatred and bigotry are not welcome here,” he said.

Chief of Police Foti Koskinas says the police are working with the church to prevent more incidents like this one.

“We support and respect the Unitarian Church, its members and their message of inclusiveness, equality and tolerance. The police department is working with the church administration to prevent further incidents,” he said.

The Connecticut Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says they are working with the community to address the situation, offering support and resources.

Anyone who may have information about the incident is encouraged to contact police at (203) 341-6080.