Police investigate alleged hate crime on sign leading to Viola Desmond's headstone

Halifax Regional Police

Halifax police are investigating the alleged vandalizing of a graveyard sign that directs people to the headstone of Viola Desmond.

The Black Nova Scotian woman, who died in 1965, was well known for her refusal to move from the whites-only section of a segregated movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S., in 1946.

She was arrested, jailed and fined, and it took 63 years for the province to issue a posthumous apology and pardon for the racist incident.

Police say they received a report of damage to a sign directing visitors to Desmond's grave in Camp Hill Cemetery located on Summer Street in Halifax.

Investigators allege "three highly offensive words" were written on the sign with a marker, and the action is being investigated as a hate crime.

Halifax police are encouraging anyone with information about the vandalism to share what they know.