Racial slur on pizza billboard not a hate crime, police say

Published: Friday, June 20 2014 2:30 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 20 2014 2:30 p.m. MDT

Police say a racial slur left on a pizza marquee is likely vandalism and trespassing, but not a hate crime.

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Police say a racial slur left on a pizza marquee is likely vandalism and trespassing, but not a hate crime.

Employees of Domino's Pizza, 6900 W. 3500 South, arrived at work Friday morning to find the letters on their ground-level billboard in front of the store had been changed to say, "Now hirin (N-word)."

The sign originally read, "Now hiring managers and drivers." A Domino's representative called it a "malicious crime" and noted that the store will be adding a locked Plexiglas screen over the marquee.

West Valley Police Lt. Dalan Taylor said the sign has been vandalized about twice a month with different messages.

"It hasn't always been racial. It appears now that it's kids that are coming by and rearranging letters into whatever they can make out of them, thinking they're being funny," he said.

In this incident, Taylor said the case does not rise to the level of being a hate crime.

"This message didn't have a threat of any type. If it was consistently racial, if there was a threat involved in it, too, then yeah, it's something we definitely would be diving into further. That's when you start getting into hate crimes," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 801-840-4000.

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