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South Carolina Mayor Charges Racism After Car Defaced, Then Police Find the Facts

A bee collects pollen from a sunflower on July 5, 2016 on a field near Frankfurt an der Oder, eastern Germany.
PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images
WARNER TODD HUSTON

A South Carolina mayor immediately proclaimed herself to be a victim of racism after finding her car defaced, but police had a more logical explanation after looking into the incident.

Darnell Byrd McPherson, mayor of Lamar, South Carolina, quickly assumed she had been the victim of a hate crime after finding a yellow “sticky substance” painted over her and her husband’s cars recently, according to Newsweek.

McPherson told the media that the substance “got in all of the grooves” of the autos that were sitting outside the couple’s home.

“My husband went out to the car to get some things out of the garage,” the mayor told Newsweek. “He says, ‘Somebody’s painted your car!’”

McPherson added that a neighbor also alerted her to the substance.

The incident caused her to assume she had been a victim of a hate crime.

“I likened it as a hate crime because No. 1, there’s a history in our town of Lamar,” the Lamar mayor said.

McPherson harkened back over 40 years when she claims that “burning crosses” were commonly seen in the area.

“It ignited some fear in my spirit. My God, who would do that?” she said. “It was something; it was just unnerving to me.”

But after looking into the situation, the police came up with another explanation.

Darlington County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Robby Kilgo reported that with spring just awakening in the area, “We found it to be pollen. There was no reason for us to collect a sample.”

A state agency also felt that the mayor’s claims were a bit overwrought.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division decided not to open any investigations into the incident saying, “We did not believe a crime occurred.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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