Police investigate hate crime in Great Bend

GREAT BEND, Kansas – Great Bend police say they’re investigating what could be called a hate crime.

A family discovered Wednesday morning that someone had painted racial slurs on their car.

It was a shocking discovery for the McGilber family Wednesday morning when they woke up to find their car had been painted with multiple racial slurs,

Police said that there have been several vehicles tagged in Great Bend recently with things like swastikas, sexual imagery, and references to Satanism and anarchy on the cars, but the McGilbers car is the only one to have racial slurs on it.

The police department is now investigating the attack as a hate crime.

“We’ve gotten some information of some possible names, and we need to interview them, it appears to be someone younger doing it,” said Lt. William Browne of the Great Bend Police Department.

“There have been reports that that it was just kids pranking, things of that nature, so they’re going to school every day in their minds knowing that people like that are people saying those kinds of things, and feeling those kinds of things, and that’s not fair, that’s not fair to anyone ,” said Quenla McGilber.

The family wants the community to know about the attack and to raise awareness of what’s going on in their own neighborhoods.

“I think that that’s important, for all rural communities where there are few people of color because I think that they’re not aware of how insensitive it is and how important it is to understand how it makes people feel,” said McGilber.

Kansas passed new laws in 2009 that allow prosecutors to increase the amount of time a person can spend behind bars if convicted of a hate crime.

The Great Bend Police Department asks anyone with information on the crime to call them at 620-793-4120.

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