Graffiti hate speech is the last straw for some Millville community members

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PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — A 31-acre park, filled with wetlands in Millville has not looked the same since Hurricane Michael.

Just this past weekend, Joe Moody Harris Park was painted with graffiti hate speech. Debris, overgrown vegetation are also littered across the Millville park.

“Neo-nazi graffiti there, we had the swasticas we had the white power signs, we had tattoos on the east avenue entrance,” said Vice President, Northwest Florida Minority Business Chamber Tony Bostick.

As an active member of the community, Bostick spoke out and wants to see change.

“The city of Panama City has failed to take care of this park, as you can see behind me the overgrown vegetation in the park,” said Bostick.

As far as the graffiti goes, the city police department is investigating.

“If we can identify who had done this then there is certainly a criminal mischief charge and we want to see that go through the court system and maybe even those people would learn that that is not the best way to express themselves,” said Interim Police Chief Mark Smith.

The City Manager for Panama City, Mark McQueen considers Joe Moody Park to be a construction zone since Hurricane Michael.

“And we are trying to find ways to expedite this through the FEMA process through the environmental historical preservation process and the design process,” said McQueen. “The bid for the architectural engineer services coincidentally happens to be going out this Friday.”

McQueen takes responsibility for the current condition of the park. He said he has not forgotten about this community.

“Joe Moody Harris Park is one of the parks that is going to be better than it was before but it takes an enormous amount of time,” said McQueen.

There is a community clean-up effort for the park this Friday and Saturday.

“We want to get back to chunky Sundays,” said Bostick.

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