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Union City officials denounce ‘White Lives Matter’ banner found ahead of MLK Day

City officials denounced a “White Lives Matter” banner found Saturday morning near a busy Union City intersection and said that it was removed promptly.

The banner was found on public property, at the corner of Smith and Dyer streets, and a police report was filed after it was taken down, officials said.

A statement from the city read:

“The city is disgusted by this despicable act of vandalism that has occurred on the heels of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week and on the weekend of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday that celebrates the life and achievements of this important civil rights leader.”

Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci and Human Relations Commissioner Kashmir Singh Shahi released a video statement, which can be found on the city’s Facebook page.

Officials said:

“[City staff] remain on heightened alert to make sure racist incidences like this do not happen again in our community.”

The mayor had been in a meeting with the Human Relations Commission during its annual retreat when the banner was discovered, she said in the video. The panel was discussing its first priority for the year — to remain vigilant about the insurrection and division taking place at the national level and to prevent it from coming to Union City.

The city’s statement read:

“While some may believe what happened at the United States Capitol could not happen here, this incident unfortunately shows how divisiveness at the national level can permeate even our community. We are saddened, but this incident makes us want to work harder at promoting and reinforcing our community value of unity through diversity.”

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