A Black Lives Matter sign in front of an Ithaca alderperson's house was vandalized this week with a large, blue "B."

Courtesy of Amber Gilewski

A Black Lives Matter sign in front of an Ithaca alderperson's house was vandalized this week with a large, blue "B."

May 24, 2017

Video Shows Man Vandalizing Ithaca Alderperson’s Black Lives Matter Sign

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A man vandalized a Black Lives Matter sign in front of a City of Ithaca alderperson’s house on Monday morning in an act that was caught on video.

Recordings from security cameras outside of Second Ward Alderperson Ducson Nguyen’s house show a man parking his bicycle on the Cascadilla Street sidewalk before sneaking up to Nguyen’s porch and appearing to spray blue paint on his Black Lives Matter sign.

Amber Gilewski, a Tompkins Cortland Community College professor who is married to Nguyen, posted a photograph on Facebook showing that the couple’s yellow sign had been marked with a large, blue “B.”

In addition to a photograph of the vandalized sign, Gilewski also posted security camera footage showing that the graffiti act occurred around 5:15 on Monday morning.

The marking, Gilewski and others speculated, may be intended to represent Blue Lives Matter, a pro-police campaign founded in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I like to remind people Ithaca isn’t as always as progressive as people think it is,” Gilewski told The Sun, adding that since Donald Trump assumed the presidency, “people with these thoughts feel more emboldened to act on them and say things to people that they may not have done before.”

The spray painted sign was first spotted by a neighbor, Ron Drummond, who sent a message to Nguyen and Gilewski alerting them of the vandalism. After receiving Drummond’s text, the Cascadilla street couple checked footage from their home’s security cameras, which they installed in December after another item in their yard was repeatedly removed.

On the tapes, a man is seen biking by the couple’s home, propping up his bike with its kickstand and creeping up to the porch, where he appears to spray paint the blue “B.” The recording, captured early in the morning, is grainy and it is difficult to see any features of the man, who is wearing a baseball cap and a long-sleeved shirt.


Gilewski said she put two signs up in front of the house shortly after Election Day in November — the Black Lives Matter sign and one that says, “I love my Muslim neighbor” — to “show support and solidarity” with groups who may be more concerned about life under a Trump presidency.

A month after she put the signs up, Gilewski said, someone began removing and messing with a miniature cat on a rainbow bike in front of the house, ripping it out of the ground multiple times and stealing it at one point, forcing the couple to get a new one.

Several local Black Lives Matter signs in Ithaca were stolen last summer, including that of Seph Murtagh, also a Second Ward alderperson. Gilewski believes whoever stole her and Nguyen’s sign was likely someone who had passed by it several times previously.

“We have a lot of foot traffic on Cascadilla [Street] … so people are always coming by,” she said. “I’m sure it’s someone who has seen it before — they’ve probably been fuming over it and this is their payback.”

Gilewski said people should not be concerned about her or her house, which now has splotches of blue paint on its porch, but rather the people who have to deal “head on” with those who espouse anti-Black Lives Matter beliefs.

“I’m definitely getting a new sign,” she said. “If anything, it makes me want to stand up even further and, really, it’s not even about me or the signs.”

“This is exactly why this sign needs to be here and why the Black Lives Matter movement exists,” Gilewski added, “because people are showing, in their minds, that black lives don’t matter.”

Watch the full video below.

  • Ockie

    BLM are themselves vandals.

  • dindu good boy

    That’s right. We don’t give two fucks about some criminals shot by the police. You can take that whining shit away from.decent people.

    • Get Real

      Oh the irony if this vandalizing criminal in a hoodie gets rolled up on by police with his spray paint can in hand, and tries to walk away fast from the scene of his crime, and gets shot in the back few times. And then people can comment on how criminals should listen to police orders, and if they don’t they deserve to be shot dead in the street. And then when the media runs the camera footage showing that he was shot multiple times, even after he had gone to the ground, and the police officer just stood there and watched him bleed to death, people can comment about how everyone knows white people are alcoholics and pain pill addicts, fundamentalist Christian alpha male wife beater rapists, pro-nra and Second Amendment, concealed carry violent narcissists, so the cop had every reason to be scared for his safety as this guy walked away. At least that would be my comment if I wasn’t a bleeding heart liberal who believes police need to take every measure to get people accused of a crime safely to their constitutionally protected right to defend themselves in court.

      • Officer Friendly

        Maybe if that happened, white people should wage a Category 5 Chimp-out and demand the arrest of said officers. Instead, when a white person is shot by the cops, no one cares.

  • Tony

    Funny. I don’t see an American flag on their porch.

    • Mark

      Oh, are we going to be required to have an American flag on the porch now? When it was proposed by a presidential candidate a couple of elections back in France that every family should be required to have a French flag in order to display it on national holidays, another presidential candidate asked whether every family should also be required to have a picture of their mother hanging in the living room.

      Well, whatever. Making all those flags should give a big boost to Chinese manufacturers. They have been very happy to produce American flag lapel pins; the only ones I’ve seen on sale were all made in China. But perhaps the manufacturers were all American, and had simply moved the factories overseas.

      • Tom

        There is no suggestion that everyone should be required to have an American flag on their porch. However, the existence of one might help to dispel the suspicion that this couple are America hating communists.

  • WhyIsThisAStory

    Yeah, vandalism sucks and is wrong, but it’s entirely unworthy of being covered by a newspaper.

  • Long Duk Dong 3

    I love my Muslim neighbor.

    I love my Muslim neighbor as he drives a truck through a crowded boulevard and crushes people to death.

    I love my Muslim neighbor as he detonates a suicide vest in a crowded Tel Aviv cafe.

    I love my Muslim neighbor as he flies a plane into a skyscraper.

    I love my Muslim neighbor as he demands we shed our Christian traditions and respect his mad mullah faith.

  • Veronica

    Thanks for publicizing this, and props to Gilewski for pointing out the importance of publicly valuing black lives.

    • Michelle

      Thrilled that Gilewski and Nguyen represent our community, and not the idiots commenting above who seemed to have never noticed how many flag waving, bible thumping terrorists and criminals there are in this country. BLM continues to pave the way to challenge the idea that it’s OK for any group to be targeted for deadly violence in arrests, a wise thing to get behind, especially if your group is on the way to being the new American minority. Once that switch happens, our history repeating itself means you and your family are the new boogie man that ought to be feared and put down violently because (a minority of) your ethnic, or racial, or religious group commits crimes and acts like nutjobs.

      • Officer Friendly

        Oh yeah I notice tons of Bible thumping flag waving terrorists … NOT

        I do see one Muslim terrorist attack after another, however. Every week, another Muslim blows himself up or drives a truck through a crowd of people.

        Oooooh calling Americans Bible thumpers. That’s so edgy. That’s a burn straight from 1999 LOLZ

    • Officer Friendly

      What about the importance of valuing white lives? How about white victims of the knockout game? Hoe about the 30,000 or so annual victims of black on white rape?