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LI church's Black Lives Matter sign vandalized, officials say

A sign that had stood on the lawn

A sign that had stood on the lawn of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington church was uprooted and torn down, with an office administrator finding it had been uprooted on Thursday morning, Aug. 18, 2016, according to the church's pastor, the Rev. Jude Geiger. Credit: The Rev. Jude Geiger

Police are investigating a second report of vandalism to a Huntington church’s Black Lives Matter sign, officials said Friday.

An office administrator arrived at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington at 109 Browns Rd. on Thursday morning to open the church and found the sign had been uprooted, with its wood posts pulled out of the ground, according to the pastor, the Rev. Jude Geiger.

Geiger said the church staff reported the incident to Suffolk County police.

In June, someone slashed the sign, which reads “All lives matter . . . that is why we affirm that black lives matter.” That incident remains under investigation.

“This time was a little more extreme,” Geiger said, though the sign itself was not damaged.

Detectives from the Hate Crimes division were sent to the scene to document the incident. They assisted the church by reinstalling the sign before they left, police said.

The church has received a number of complaints about the sign, but officials have chosen to continue displaying it.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s sister church in Stony Brook elected to remove its Black Lives Matter sign July 22 — less than a month after it was put up — after that banner drew complaints and was also vandalized.

Geiger said he was grateful for the assist from police in putting the Huntington sign back up.

“They just went ahead and did it on their own. That was really generous of them,” he said.


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