MENDON (CBS) – Mendon Police are trying to find out who ripped apart a Black Lives Matter banner at a church in town. The banner hanging outside the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Mendon and Uxbridge on Maple Street was found torn in half Friday morning.

The church reported the damage to police and they’re asking anyone with information to come forward.

According to Rev. Ralph Clarke, the sign was hanging peacefully for about two weeks.

Clarke thought Thursday’s wild wind brought the sign down until he took a closer look.”It was a clear cut right down the middle,” he said.  “For someone to decide just to destroy, rather than talking. We can’t get anything good out of that.”

Attorney Michael Curry, a member of the NAACP Board of Directors, agrees. “All the inequities across all the areas that are important show that black lives don’t always matter,” he said. “We’re forcing the issue, we’re forcing the debate, and I think we’ll be a better country for it.”

The congregation is raising money to replace the banner. They’ll host a Black Lives Matter vigil Tuesday at 7 p.m. “We want to be an open and welcoming community,” said Clarke.

“We are seeking the public’s assistance with our investigation in identifying any suspicious persons or vehicles that may have been in the area between 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 2 and 11:00 am on Friday, July 3, 2020,” police said in a Facebook post.

Curry believes the vandalized sign speaks to a larger issue.

“Donald Trump’s presidency took the sheet off of America. The people who would deface Black Lives Matter signs are the people who would run through crowds and run over protestors,” he said. “Those are the people we need to be worried about. I think the message in all this is race is consciousness.”

Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to call Mendon Police at 508-478-2737 or submit an anonymous tip online at mendonpolice.com.

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