Vandals destroy items at African-American history museum founded by murdered activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph
BATON ROUGE- It has been one month since beloved Baton Rouge icon Sadie Roberts-Joseph was killed, and over the weekend vandals appear to have targeted her museum.
Kevin Hayes said he was at Odell S. Williams museum paying his respects and visiting when he noticed things were not in order. He found broken benches, fountains with crystals torn apart and missing, gardens trampled over and chairs and a television flipped upside down.
"It's a historic black museum, and a lot of kids find time to not do harmful things by coming to this place," Hayes said. "Seeing it vandalized is heartbreaking."
Hayes said he has been going to the Odell S. Williams museum since he was a child.
"It's very disrespectful to anybody who cared what she was doing and any human being period," Hayes said.
Hayes said they went to file a police report about the damage, but initially, someone at 2nd District refused to take the report since they were not the owners of the museum. Baton Rouge Police said it was a miscommunication. They are now aware of the vandalism and are looking into it.
"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 said. "We need to stand together for someone who was doing something right."
Roberts-Joseph was found stuffed in the trunk of her car. She was strangled as Hurricane Barry was bearing down on Louisiana. Her murder touched off community-wide support with candlelight vigils and a pledge to protect the work she was doing.
Sadie Roberts Joseph's son said he is aware of the vandalism and issued the following statement.
"It's disrespectful and extremely disappointing," Jason Roberts said. "The museum has been there for the community since its inception."