Calera man finds racial slur carved into park picnic table

Racial slur carved into Calera picnic bench
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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CALERA, Ala. (WBRC) - A man in Calera taking a break from a run, found a disturbing racial slur carved into a picnic table at Calera Oliver Park.

Geoffrey Gwin runs every two to three days and part of his routine is resting at the picnic tables at the end of his workout.

Earlier this week he found the racial slur and wondered if the message was personal.

After coming off of a 6-mile run Tuesday morning, Geoffrey Gwin was feeling proud of himself until he saw a racial slur carved into the picnic table where he always stops.

“Then all of a sudden, I go to my spot to cool down and all of that is kind of wiped out and I’m like oh my gosh, what’s going on,” Gwin said. “There is a part of me that’s almost like maybe I was allowed to run extra so I wouldn’t walk back to the table and see the individuals actually in the middle of what they were doing.”

Gwin didn’t see who was responsible but said it wasn’t there the day before.

“It wasn’t fear, definitely not fear because that’s what they want, but it was more so heightened awareness at that point,” Gwin said.

Calera Police Chief David Hyche and Parks and Rec director Seth Gandy saw Gwin’s post on Facebook.

They are both working to add more cameras to the park to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“It’s something that the City of Calera definitely doesn’t condone. We are a very diverse city, and we are very proud of that, and we certainly want to make sure that safety is our number one concern,” Gandy said. “We have a fantastic police department and parks and rec department, and we are going to continue to do everything that we can just to provide a quality service tour citizen.”

Gwin is not letting this incident get him down on his runs.

The picnic table has been repainted.

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