Inflammatory message spray-painted onto shed

“Whites Only.”

That racially-charged message was painted in black graffiti on a white shed located at a residence on East Marion Street earlier this week, and Marshalltown Police Capt. Brian Batterson said the property owner didn’t know about the sign until police notified her.

“The property owner was unaware of the graffiti,” he said. “She was unaware of how or who put it back there; she was notified that she had to get it taken care of.”

While the property in question is located on Marion Street, the message was found facing Riverside Street, directly across the road from Riverside Cemetery.

Batterson said it’s unclear who painted the message, or who specifically it was meant to target.

“The owner of the property is white, so I don’t know who the graffiti was directed at,” he said.

Under Marshalltown City Code section 21-77, Batterson said the property owner will be given time to remove the graffiti, as it is considered a “public nuisance.”

“The city sends them a letter to tell them they have seven days to clean it up or abate the nuisance,” he said. “If not, the city will clean it up, then charge the property owner.”


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or