1,300 Workers Sent Home, $50,000 Reward Offered Over ‘Racist Graffiti’

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All 1,300 workers were dismissed and a $50,000 reward was issued after “racist graffiti” was found in a porta-potty at a construction site. The graffiti caused such an uproar that the sheriff’s office launched a criminal investigation.

A construction company sent home 1,300 employees after “racist graffiti” was discovered in a porta-potty. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

There are few complications that can shut down a major construction project, especially one with over 1,000 workers on site. However, a single phrase scrawled on the door of a portable outhouse was enough to completely halt all operations and send Utah authorities into a panic.

While completing construction at a Facebook data center in Eagle Mountain, a threatening slur was discovered written on the door of a porta-potty, KSTU-TV reports. Concerned for the safety of those on-site, Mortenson Construction dismissed all 1,300 of its employees for the day and called the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the offense.

racist graffiti
“Kill a n***** day 11/29” was written on the inside of the door. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Photos posted on Twitter by the UCSO showed the words “Kill a n***** day 11/29” written in what appears to be black marker on the inside of the structure’s door. While authorities investigated the incident, Mortenson Construction gathered its workers, informed them of the threat, and sent them home as a precautionary measure, KUTV reports.

Mortenson Construction quickly released a statement condemning the racist message and explaining the decision to send its workers home. Additionally, the company announced a $50,000 reward for information regarding the identity of the culprit.

“Mortenson’s priority is the safety and welfare of our team members and all people on our projects. We are investigating bias-motivated graffiti found today on the Eagle Mountain project site. We strongly condemn any form of racism or bigotry, and we have a clear, zero-tolerance anti-harassment, anti-discrimination policy,” the company said. “We stopped work today to immediately and directly address this situation with team members and project partners, underscore our team’s anti-harassment policy and restate our expectations for conduct on site. There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the individual(s) responsible.”

racist graffiti
Public Information Officer Sgt. Spencer Cannon insisted that the threat be taken seriously. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Facebook Inc., which has since changed its name to Meta Platforms in a rebranding effort, also issued a statement condemning the graffiti and vowing to make changes to operations going forward.

“Meta, formerly Facebook, has zero tolerance for any racist acts,” a spokesperson for the company said. “While this is a challenge facing the entire industry, we’re working with our general contractors to implement measures that will help prevent them at any of our construction sites.”

Public Information Officer Sgt. Spencer Cannon shared photos of the graffiti on social media and was met with the reply, “white lives matter,” which he quickly denounced. He suggested that white people aren’t under as significant a threat of violence because the graffiti isn’t directed at “crackers.”

“But we must recognize the fact that people aren’t generally writing bathroom wall graffiti that says ‘Kill a cracker day 11/29.’ So in that light your statement is insensitive at the very least and should be kept to yourself,” Cannon wrote.

The construction company announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the culprit. (Photo Credit: Pexels)

Police confirmed that the threat wasn’t directed at a specific person and that investigators haven’t found any credible evidence that the threat will be carried out. They added that the sheriff’s office has no suspects at this time. Due to the number of people on the site, authorities admitted that it might be impossible to identify the culprit.

Many of the comments shrugged off the graffiti as a tasteless joke comparable to every other message scrawled on the walls of a bathroom stall. Still, authorities are taking the warning seriously just in case the threat is legitimate. The question is, should we be concerned that the threat is legitimate, or did the companies and authorities overreact to a bit of racist graffiti intended to get a reaction?