Museum Created By Slain Civil Rights Leader Sadie Roberts-Joseph Vandalized Exactly A Month After Her Death
The incident is under investigation.
A museum created by slain civil rights leader Sadie Roberts-Joseph was vandalized exactly a month after her death.
On Monday, a visitor to the Odell S. Williams Museum posted photos on Facebook showing toppled benches, windows lying on the ground and objects thrown into a garden. A Baton Rouge Police spokesman told The Advocate the damage is currently under investigation. It is unclear when the vandalism occurred or if anything inside the museum was affected.
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Kevin Hayes, another visitor, also noticed something was off when he visited the grounds to pay his respects to Roberts-Joseph. He saw broken benches, crystals torn out of fountains, the garden trampled and overturned props.
"It's a historic Black museum, and a lot of kids find time to not do harmful things by coming to this place," Hayes told WBRZ. "Seeing it vandalized is heartbreaking."
Hayes tried to file a police report, but he was dismissed because he wasn’t an owner. Baton Rouge police said the refusal was a misunderstanding.
“It needs to stop and we need to come together as a community and protect this place no matter what race, color, creed you are," Hayes continued. "We need to stand together for someone who was doing something right."
Roberts-Joseph’s son was also informed of the vandalism and called it “disrespectful and extremely disappointing."
The museum has been closed since Roberts-Joseph’s body was discovered in the trunk of her car on July 12. Her tenant, Ronn Bell, was arrested for her death. Investigators determined Roberts-Joseph was strangled and suffocated.