Just two days after Election Day, a dead pig clad in a blue Mitt Romney T-shirt was found early Thursday on the doorstep of the local Republican Party headquarters in Manhattan Beach.
According to ABC7, passersby noticed the carcass as early as 6:30 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of the building, which is located on Highland Avenue and 40th Street. One witness told the news outlet that the pig’s head was cut in half and wrapped in barbed wire.
Manhattan Beach Police Animal Control later removed the carcass and took it in as evidence in the investigation.
Manhattan Beach detective Mike Rosenberger said police will handle this case as an improper disposal of carcass or illegal dumping of trash at this point, dismissing the notion that a hate crime was committed.
“Does it have to do with disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation?” Rosenberger said. “Everyone needs to take a breath and look up the definition of a hate crime and realize that ain’t it … To my knowledge, there’s no other crime.”
Bob Holmes, the district chairman and former city mayor, said that the politically motivated incident is not an anomaly, as the Manhattan Beach office has suffered similar cases in the past.
“It simply is another unfortunate case of vandalism that we’ve suffered over the years,” Holmes said. “It’s just a shame that those who disagree with us can’t engage in a civil discourse and stake their position in the way that we’d like to think democracy works.”
In December of 2007, the headquarters saw its front windows covered with anti-war, anti-Republican posters.
However, Holmes said his party remains undeterred by such acts of vandalism.
“We’ll continue to represent our views and our philosophy and hopefully our opponents can find a more legal, mature way to express their disagreement,” he said.
Tony Hales, a local Democratic party leader, called the vandalism a ”repugnant act” and offered condolences to his Republican counterparts.
“This kind of behavior has no place in our political debate and should be condemned by both sides,” Hales wrote in a statement. “I don’t know anyone in our local Democratic community who has ever shown any inclination toward such actions. Although it is easy to assume a partisan motivation for this disgusting stunt, we should not jump to conclusions. This is likely to be the exploit of an individual who is not fully involved in the political process.”