Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

e) Allegation of graffiti on portable
toilets and a racially insensitive
statue in a jeep

A DOJ employee alleged that early Saturday morning she saw the words "no niggers" painted on one of the portable toilets in the campground. She also reported seeing some persons attempting to bring a racially insensitive statue into the Roundup.

(i) Graffiti

The employee told us that shortly after she awoke early on Saturday morning she walked by one of the portable toilets and observed racist graffiti scrawled on it. She immediately went to Rightmyer to report it. He told her he was already in the process of finding paint to cover it up. Shortly thereafter the offending words were painted over. The lessor of the toilets told us that two of the toilets he leased to the Roundup were returned with some type of graffiti on them. One said, "whites only." Duct tape covered this writing. A second one had some writing on it that he could not read because it had been covered by spray paint. Although several persons said in interviews that the Fort Lauderdale officers responsible for the confrontation with Jack Scott were also responsible for the graffiti, we found no one who had any direct evidence linking these individuals to this particular conduct.

We have no information regarding the responsible parties, but given the timing of these discoveries and the previous racist confrontation, it is likely that some unspecified Roundup participants were responsible for these racial epithets. By that point, the Roundup was in its fourth day, and these toilets were used by Roundup participants and their guests. Although the possibility exists that a passerby was responsible, that seems less likely than that a Roundup attendee was the culpable party.

(ii) Statue in a jeep

The same DOJ employee who reported the graffiti also stated that a group of individuals pulled up to the registration desk with a small statue of a black figure in the back of their jeep, similar in description to the one that had been taken from the river rafting guide in 1990. The employee was working in the registration area and reported it to the head of registration, who told the persons in the jeep to put the statue away and not to bring it out again. It was not seen again. The Justice employee said that she believed the persons in the jeep were local people rather than law enforcement attendees.

(iii) OIG findings

We found substantial credible evidence that the incidents involving the statue in the jeep and the graffiti on the portable toilet occurred as described. Such actions are consistent with some of the other documented behavior at the Roundup, and the persons who made these reports were highly credible. We also conclude, however, that each of these actions was promptly reported and addressed. We did not find sufficient evidence to identify the responsible parties.