Gang-related graffiti, an eyesore in Bossier community

By Stephanie Claytor

Published 06/09 2014 08:52PM

Updated 06/09 2014 09:03PM

Gang-related graffiti is tagged on buildings along Barksdale Boulevard, and on property in the Barksdale Annex community. People living there said it’s an eyesore.


“It’s brings down the neighborhood, makes the neighborhood look bad especially when they’re trying to do something positive with the Friendship House being down here for the kids,” said Vicki Murray.


The graffiti is on playground equipment, and even street signs. One neighbor told NBC 6 the graffiti on the playground appeared four months ago. It has messages related to the Bloods and the Crips. It came to a climax Jun. 3, when gang signs appeared on the Sacred Inspirational Source Outreach Prison Ministry, on Fullilove Drive.  The police were called out the following day; they're working to find the culprit.


"As a result of that, we stepped up patrols in that neighborhood, just to be on the safe side to see if there's some gang activity. We haven't seen any measureable increase or measurable criminal activity involving gangs in Bossier City. "


The ministry has given out free clothes and food to the community in the past. Its main purpose is to send inspirational letters to people incarcerated. Board members of the ministry said they need help re-painting the building. They admit the ministry is struggling and already can’t pay the water and electricity bills.


“For us to help the community as we have, and for someone to come and deface our ministry building, it just was a shock to us,” said Laverne Wyatt Tanner, the Vice President for Sacred Inspirational Source Outreach Prison Ministry.


The city sent the ministry a “blight letter” June 5, stating that if the graffiti isn’t removed in ten days, the ministry could face up to $500 in fines. Tanner said the organization plans to make an appeal, giving it more time to figure out how to get the building repainted. It is asking for the community’s help.


If you know who is spray-painting these buildings, call Bossier Crime Stoppers - 318-424-4100.There’s a reward for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest.


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