HOUSTON (AP) — A museum in Houston honoring the nation’s Black Buffalo Soldiers was vandalized with graffiti, including with a symbol that appears to be a swastika, according to the facility

Residents who live near the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum discovered the vandalism, according to a police report filed Tuesday.

The incident happened either Monday or Tuesday. The museum has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum was spray-painted with what appears to be a swastika symbol and a statement that seems to read “Sucks Democratic Party,” according to a Facebook post by Desmond Bertrand-Pitts, the museum’s CEO.

“For 19 years we have educated the Houston, surrounding communities and the world with the stories of African American men and women who sacrifice their lives in defense of America,” said Bertrand-Pitts, whose grandfather founded the museum. “We have never dealt with such disrespect, hate and racism. It is our hope that the individuals responsible for this act are caught.”

The Buffalo Soldiers were the first regiments of Black soldiers authorized to serve during peacetime, being established in 1866. They were often issued poorer uniforms and equipment than other units and faced discrimination in many of the towns they protected.

The soldiers included former slaves and veterans who served in the Civil War. At least 18 of the soldiers won the Medal of Honor during the settlement of the West.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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