Charleston Democratic Party leaders say they found their office vandalized Saturday morning, days before President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn in and as law enforcement officials nationwide urge continued vigilance over more politically motivated violence following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“Some unknown person poured some type of putty over the lock and door handle,” said Charles Francis, spokesman for the Charleston Police Department, after officers responded to the party’s office near the corner of Ashley River Road and Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.
Francis said police also found flyers taped to office windows. One said, “Communists have infiltrated the government,” and, “The world is watching.” The other criticized Biden and George Soros, a billionaire businessman who figures in many far-right conspiracy theories.
“We do not blame any specific organization for this,” said Colleen Condon, the local party chair, on a video posted to the party’s Facebook page. “But this is going to be taken seriously.”
The office was vandalized at some time between Thursday night and Saturday morning, according to a party official. The group canceled a hand sanitizer distribution event Saturday morning after arriving and finding the vandalism.
Charleston police are increasing their presence around the office, according to Francis.
Charges would be brought if an investigation can determine a responsible party, she said. Condon urged no violence in reaction to the event.
“We need to be moving forward as a community,” she said.