Racist Drawing May Not Have Happened in Saline, Police Want to Talk to Witnesses

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A potential act of racial intimidation may not have happened in Saline, as was previously reported, but the Saline Police Department still wants to talk to anyone who may have witnessed the incident.

On Sunday, a black man and his three sons were fishing at Mill Pond Park in Saline. Later in the day, they found what appeared to be a Confederate flag drawn into the dust that accumulated on the hatch of their vehicle.

The parents were shaken by the incident. The flag is a symbol commonly used by white supremacists.

However, it's unclear whether this incident took place in Saline, according to Marlene Radzik, Deputy Police Chief for the Saline Police Department.

Radzik said that after leaving the park, the family dined at Zingerman's Road House in Ann Arbor, where their vehicle was parked for about an hour.

Police would like to investigate this matter but have limited information to proceed.

"If anyone witnessed anything occurring, please contact me," Radzik said. (Reach her at 734-429-7911 ext. 2190 or mradzik@cityofsaline.org). The family drove a black, 2018 GMC Yukon.

Radzik said the man and his three sons arrived at Mill Pond Park around 10:30 a.m. They parked in the lot nearest the dog park. While walking to their fishing spot, they crossed paths with one person - a female.

"They had no unusual interactions at the park," Radzik said. Around 1:30 p.m., they left the park and went to Ann Arbor to eat. Their vehicle was drawn there.

They noticed the Confederate flag later in the day. A second drawing on the back of the vehicle, of "Dog Man," a character from popular graphic novels, was made by one of the children.

The community was alerted to the incident on social media. Grace Wu posted a picture of the drawing in Saline Posts, along with a call to action.

"I'm posting this because I think it's important that we know what's going on in our town. But more importantly, as a community, we need to speak out against racism, racial intimidation and racist acts, and condemn them publicly. Please be vigilant, watch out for your neighbors and friends, and take care of yourself," Wu wrote.

Radzik, who serves on the Saline Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, supported calls to action - whether or not this incident occurred in Saline.

"I take it personally. One of the reasons I wanted to work at the Saline Police Department was to be a part of the DEI efforts. I lived in Saline. All six of my children went through Saline Area Schools. I know there's clearly systemic racism in Saline, and I think it's important that we make Saline a welcoming community for all," Radzik said.

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So the new headline is, "A racial incident did not take place in Saline at Mill Pond Park, but never forget that Saline is systemically racist." Got it!

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