The Leesburg Police Department is investigating the vandalism of a sidewalk in the 400 block of South King Street Friday evening, authorities reported Monday morning.
Around 6:55 p.m., dispatchers received a report of 20 to 25 people wearing black masks in the area, one of whom was allegedly painting a letter on the sidewalk.
Officers responded and found the group was involved in a protest, with at least one participant reportedly using a megaphone.
The messages "LIBEREN A TODXS" and "FREE THEM ALL!" had reportedly been painted on the sidewalk in large blue letters. "Liberen a todxs" — a stylization of "liberen a todos," Spanish for "free them all" — has been associated with protests against racial inequality led by the Latinx community.
Artwork bearing the slogan has popped up in public spots around the country, including Oakland, California.
Per the LPD, one subject claiming to be the group's organizer said they were protesting for the release of all inmates in a Farmville detention center.
After requesting the group lower their volume and clean up the paint, participants reportedly claimed the paint was easily washable and removable.
However, members of Loudoun County Fire and Rescue were unable to remove the slogans Friday evening, though the Town of Leesburg Department of Public Works has since removed them.
The LPD Criminal Investigation Section is leading the investigation and requests any witnesses who have not yet spoken to law enforcement contact Detective J. Mocello at 703-771-4500 or email@example.com.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the Leesburg Crime Line at 703-443-8477 or text 274637 and begin the message with LPDTIP.