Vandals tag Vallejo councilmember's office with racial epithet

A racial slur. "Defund the VPD," or Vallejo Police Department. "F- VPD." Black lives matter.

Those messages were sprayed early Friday outside the downtown campaign office of Vallejo City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Hakeem Brown.

"I don't have an idea of who did this," Brown told KTVU. "But I'm not surprised in the sense that the rhetoric has been building."

Brown says he's been pushing for reform.

"I've never been called this racial slur by someone of color. And I think that whether it's tied to the mayor's campaign or not, I think that people are very resistant to change."

Surveillance video shows a woman spray-painting the racial epithet at about 2:15 a.m.

"I think it's vandalism. I think it's hate speech. I think it's an attempt to be divisive and get away from the issues," Brown said.

Vallejo police spent the morning investigating the vandalism as a hate crime. Depending on any leads generated, police say they could reach out to the FBI.

In a statement, Police Chief Shawny Williams sad, "This is a despicable act of hate that will never be tolerated in the city of Vallejo. We will conduct a thorough investigation and seek to identify the perpetrator(s) of this disgusting hate crime against Councilmember Brown."

Brown has spoken out against police misconduct in Vallejo and across the nation. "I don't tolerate any type of police brutality or racial profiling," he said.

But his critics say he's been supported by the police union. Brown is pictured on a council campaign flyer standing next to the current union president, Lt. Michael Nichelini.

"I have not asked for their endorsement in this election, nor have I received it," Brown said.

Nichelini is one of two lieutenants on leave in connection with the destruction of a police-truck windshield. In June, a detective fired through the windshield, killing Sean  Monterrosa, after mistaking Monterrosa's hammer for a gun.

Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan, a former officer with the department, also denounced the vandalism

"I'm extremely upset by this," Sampayan said. "This is vile, this is racist, and it's uncalled for in our community."