Vandals Spray "Kony 2012" Graffiti on Homes

Taggers in Lewisville have sprayed-painted "Kony 2012," obscene art and swastika on homes

By Randy McIlwain
|  Friday, Mar 16, 2012  |  Updated 12:45 PM CDT
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Vandals have spray-painted

Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News

Vandals have spray-painted "KONY 2012" on the garage doors of several homes in a northwest Lewisville neighborhood. Police say it doesn't matter if it's a political statement or a prank -- vandalism has criminal consequences.

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Vandals sprayed-painted the name of a viral Internet campaign about a central Africa warlord on four homes in Lewisville, police said.

American advocacy group Invisible Children launched an online campaign to raise global awareness of Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Lewisville police said they believe the vandals are kids on spring break and said their actions have nothing to do with making a political statement.

"Not all the incidents were related to Kony 2012," Capt. Kevin Deaver said. "It seems like they were just out to vandalize people's property."

The graffiti ranged from obscene art to a giant swastika.

Joe White saw a swastika the second he stepped out of his home.

"Our generation understands about a swastika," he said. "When we were just infants during the Second World War, we know what it means -- it means hate to us."

He said two homes on his block were tagged with graffiti this week.

"It's not something we can combat because it's so sneaky," White said. "It's never done when you can see it being done."

The tagging is misdemeanor vandalism but could rise to a felony charge if police can prove the same person or persons are responsible.

Police said they also take the use of a swastika very seriously. If investigators find it was intended to threaten or intimidate anyone in the neighborhood, it could be viewed at a hate crime.

Right now, detectives have no suspects in the vandalism.

The 30-minute video "Kony 2012" by Invisible Children has been viewed nearly 80 million times on YouTube but has faced sharp criticism in Uganda. Some critics have said the video oversimplified the conflict, and a screening earlier this week of the video in a town once terrorized by the Lord's Resistance Army received overwhelmingly negative feedback.

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