CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County Democratic Party Office was vandalized earlier today, which has led to one Lowcountry lawmaker to speak out.
State Representative JA Moore spoke to News 2 as he shared his reaction on the incident.
“It’s very troubling. It’s unfortunate that we have people in this community that are taking criminal acts to express their political beliefs,” said Moore.
This vandalism comes after several states across the country are concerned of potential protests in their communities following the protest at The Capital in Washington DC on January 6.
The incident outside of the Charleston County Democratic Party Office was the first sign of protest as officers noticed putty on the door handle and flyers that were critical of President-elect Joe Biden.
Representative Moore said a situation like this does not align with the First Amendment.
“Criminality is not protected speech. We have to do everything we can as elected leaders and community leaders to make sure people know that this is not acceptable,” he said.
Amber Allen, Executive Committeewoman of the Charleston County Democratic Party, was on scene when the vandalism was first reported and said this situation is why she believes a Hate Crime Bill should be established in South Carolina.
“Incidents like these are why we need to pass Hate Crime Bill legislation so that these types of things are handled appropriately according to the law,” said Allen.
Rep. Moore said he believes it’s up to elected officials to help bring the community closer together.
“In this country and across the state, we have so much more in common than what divides us from a political standpoint, but what’s happened, we’ve seen it nationally and it’s trickling down here locally, is the divisiveness of our national leaders is causing challenges,” said Moore.
Officials said there are plans for added precautions for bot the Charleston County Democratic Party Office and the Statehouse as it gets closer to Inauguration Day.