Oakland neighbors stand in solidarity with Black family after home vandalized with 'All Lives Matter' graffiti

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Monday, June 29, 2020
Black family's home vandalized with 'All Lives Matter' graffiti in Oakland
A Black family's home was vandalized with "All Lives Matter" graffiti in Oakland on Sunday and neighbors want this investigated as a hate crime.

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- "This is my family's home, and for me to wake up and see it attacked in this type of manner, it definitely hurts. And, it is definitely upsetting," says Josh, who only wanted to give his first name.

Josh, who is Black, woke up to graffiti sprayed around the entrance to his house, including the words "All Lives Matter." Some of the graffiti even included slurs against police.

"If this was your house, you'd probably be just as surprised, just as upset and confused, because it's just like, 'Why?'" says Josh. He thinks his house was vandalized early Sunday morning. He was home alone at the time.

Josh, who is in his early 20s, lives in the house with his family. He says the house has been in his family since the 1970s, and that they never had any problems before.

"It said 'All Lives Matter.' There were some cartoons, I don't even know (what those meant)," explains David Engelillo, Josh's neighbor, who helped paint over the graffiti Sunday afternoon.

Josh says he supports All Lives Matter, but that it's not ok to protest by spray painting his house.

"There are other ways and peaceful ways to do it, just like Black Lives Matter is doing right now. So follow suit, instead of retaliating," says Josh. "They want us to lash out and everything. No! I'm not going to lash out."

A block away, Josh's neighbors came out to show their support for the family with an organized demonstration Sunday evening.

"I think it's terrible and a clear indication of where we are headed now," says Hershell Levi, one of the neighbors who participated.

Families lined up on a street with "Black Lives Matter" sprayed down the middle, banging on pots and pans.

"Why do we have to live with this kind of stuff around us right now?" asks Phyllis Brondnax, another participant. "They need to just chill and understand that we don't want to hurt you. We just want to live with you. They don't understand that."

Josh says he filed a police report. Some residents want this investigated as a hate crime.

"It's still heart-warming and it's definitely uplifting knowing that no one is going to stand for this, especially in this neighborhood in Oakland, cause it's just like we don't have time for this. We don't," says Josh.

Oakland police did not respond to a request for comment.

Graffiti saying "ALM" - presumably meaning All Lives Matter - was also found on two cars belonging to a Black family in Alameda Sunday morning, neighbors say.

The neighborhood came out to help clean the spray paint off the vehicles and even decorated the streets with chalk messages of love and solidarity.

This split image shows people helping to clean graffiti off a car, left, and chalk messages of love and solidarity, left, in Alameda, Calif. on June 28, 2020.
This split image shows people helping to clean graffiti off a car, left, and chalk messages of love and solidarity, left, in Alameda, Calif. on June 28, 2020.
@Rachelwellman_ / Instagram

A GoFundMe was created for the family and the description read:

"A black gentleman who lives in our neighborhood was targeted by a hate crime. His two vehicles were spray painted with racist messaging. Any donation I'm sure will be greatly appreciated."

It is unknown whether the two vandalisms are related.

ABC7 News also reached out to the Alameda Police Department but have not heard back.