PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) – Park services and public works crews in Palo Alto have removed the racist graffiti someone discovered on the playground at Pardee Park. A passerby stumbled across the vandalism Thursday night.

Police say it’s unclear how long ago it was written, or how many people have seen it. Alexandra, who is visiting the area with her daughter, told KRON4 news, “it’s a very terrible situation and I don’t like it.”

Police say the graffiti included racial slurs directed at African Americans. The latest census statistics show African Americans make-up less than 2% of the population, while caucasians account for about 56% of the city.

“We have a terrific little community with lots of mothers and young kids, and the thought of someone doing a racially outrageous statement, it’s really upsetting,” neighbor James Girand told KRON4 news.

At this time, police do not have a suspect but say they are investigating this case as a hate crime.

KRON On is streaming news live now

One neighbor says a similar incident was reported here two years ago, adding though that this act comes as a shock.

The hope is that no kids saw the graffiti. Girand tells KRON4, “a lot of the kids here are so young they can’t read, but that’s not the point.”

Alexandra, who is visiting from Seattle with her eight-year-old daughter, is upset, she says, “people need to talk with their kids, and talk with the teenagers. Probably, it comes from teenagers.”