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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

EWU president vows to keep campus safe after racist vandalism in Cheney

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 12, 2019

Eastern Washington University President Mary Cullinan vowed to ensure “that our campus and this community are safe places where students, and all of us, can learn, work, and live without fear” after images of a vandalized car were posted to Twitter this week. (Twitter)
Eastern Washington University President Mary Cullinan vowed to ensure “that our campus and this community are safe places where students, and all of us, can learn, work, and live without fear” after images of a vandalized car were posted to Twitter this week. (Twitter)

After a racial slur was found painted on a car in Cheney on Tuesday, Eastern Washington University President Mary Cullinan reaffirmed the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion Thursday.

Megan Deich aired her frustration in a Tuesday morning tweet after she said she found her car defaced with a spray-painted racial slur and multiple windows smashed in.

The tweet read, “My car was vandalized in Cheney, WA this morning outside of two African American women’s apartment. Not worried about my car – it’s fixable. I’m worried about the racist pieces of trash threatening these women.”

The incident was reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday by a resident of the apartment complex, according to Cheney police Capt. Rick Beghtol.

Two African American women live in the apartment where the car was parked and have had issues with other residents of the complex in the past, Beghtol said. A few months ago, racial slurs were written in front of another resident’s apartment, Beghtol said.

For over a year, issues between the residents, including previous vandalism, have been reported to the police, Beghtol said.

“It could have been a tit-for-tat thing,” Beghtol said. “There is no evidence of who actually committed the crime.”

Deich’s tweet quickly garnered thousands of likes and numerous replies. She did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cullinan sent a statement two days later, saying the EWU Police Department would support the Cheney Police Department in its investigation.

“As a member of the Cheney community, where many of our students, faculty, and staff also live, I am committed to ensuring that our campus and this community are safe places where students, and all of us, can learn, work, and live without fear,” Cullinan said in the statement.

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