One family is convinced it’s a hate crime. Contra Costa County sheriff’s officials say it's not.
What’s undeniable is a neighborhood in Bay Point is upset because someone spray painted the N-word on the property of two homes, and a rock was thrown threw both their windows.
The sheriff's office said it is investigating.
"Based on the preliminary investigation, this does not appear to be a hate crime. It is being investigated as a felony vandalism," sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said in a statement. "That could change as the investigation proceeds."
The families are speaking out because they want people to be aware of what happened. The racial slur was spray painted on two properties in the middle of the night, and neighbors are shocked and disturbed.
"Panic sets in. What if someone has a gun?" said Cassius McGill, who woke up at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday to the sound of broken glass.
When she ran outside, McGill saw the graffiti.
"We look and see the vulgar word on the trailer and something that appears to be a swastika," she said. "It’s planned, it’s calculated, it’s targeting black neighbors."
McGill feels her family is the target of a hate crime.
"From the verbiage, it’s a hate crime," she said.
Three homes in the same Bay Point cul de sac were targeted, not just with graffiti but also rocks thrown through windows.
Bennie Addison’s window was hit. The word "get" was written on his garage. But he doesn’t think the graffiti has anything to do with hate because the neighborhood is so diverse.
"There’s a black guy who stays on the corner. Why didn’t his house get hit?" Addison said.
Windows were broken in the same neighborhood several years ago. One neighbor said that was the result of a personal dispute.
McGill believes this crime is different.
"I don’t understand why it’s not a hate crime," she said. "It doesn’t take much to be a hate crime, and this is definitely one."
McGill said she’s afraid her home will be burned down next.
Anyone with any information on the case should call the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. Tips could be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org; call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.