On Monday, Aug. 10, the Chestertown Council made a historic and unified statement against racism and approved anti-racist murals to be painted on College Avenue and High Street.

The murals would read “Black Lives Matter” and “We Can’t Breathe” — and underneath each mural would read “Chestertown Unites Against Racism.” 

But even before the passage of Chestertown’s historic stance against racism, some members of a group called the Kent Island Patriots, recently formed by Gordana Schifanelli, of the law firm Schifanelli & Associates, made threats on the organization’s Facebook page to vandalize murals should they become a reality.

“I say let them,” said a poster on the site who was not a confirmed member of the group but weighed in on the idea of defacing the murals. “I’m pretty sure there is plenty of people like myself that would love to do burnouts all over it.” There was a posted threat to deface a town sanctioned message on town-owned streets by leaving tire skid marks over the murals.

“I’ve got some big fat tires I’ve been waiting to burn off,” said a member. 

“I live right up the street in Worton. It won’t last long,” said another member.

“Agreed, it won’t last long,” said a third member.

“I’ll throw paint on it as soon as it shows up,” said a fourth member.

“Oh dear baby Jesus please let them do it, shit WILL GET REAL,” said a fifth member.

“It’s unfortunate that there are those who wish to impede on the sovereignty and the will of the majority of citizens in Chestertown with threats to deface a town sanctioned project,” said Ward 3 Councilman Ellsworth Tolliver, the Town Council’s only black member.  “These threats are prime examples of why the statements “Black Lives Matter” and “We Can’t Breathe” speak to the indignities that blacks have had to endure in Chestertown for a long time.  I trust that our local law enforcement community will prosecute any perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law.”

In the video below, Chestertown Police Chief John Dolgos offers a warning to anyone who may have plans to vandalize the murals.

“This would be a serious misdemeanor,” Dolgos said in an exclusive interview with the Kent Pilot. He said if convicted, penalties could be as high as three years incarceration, $2,500 fine or both.