Vandals throw bricks through Nebraska GOP office windows

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Someone threw bricks through the Nebraska Republican Party's office windows in Lincoln and spray-painted "abolish ICE" on a sidewalk in front of the building.

Executive Director Kenny Zoeller says Tuesday the vandalism happened overnight at the office blocks from the state Capitol. He says it will cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage.

The words "ABOLISH ICE" are a reference to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some have called for the government to replace the agency following intense criticism of its implementation of President Donald Trump's suspended policy of separating families who cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Zoeller says someone also spray-painted the word "Resist" on the party's front windows in December and that the office frequently receives threats of violence.

Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler released statements on the vandalism Tuesday afternoon. Both can be seen below.

Chief Bliemeister:
"The Lincoln Police Department is investigating the vandalism that occurred at the Nebraska Republican Party office. Every criminal investigation deserves our best efforts and this incident is no different. Officers canvassed the area for witnesses, processed the scene for evidence, and are collaborating with nearby businesses for video surveillance. Investigators are following up on all leads, including tips from citizens. As with any incident, the Lincoln Police Department is responsible for serving victims of crimes, conducting follow-up investigations, and ultimately, resolving the case to the best of our law enforcement abilities. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Lincoln Police Department at 402.441.6000 or Lincoln Crimestoppers at 402.475.3600."

Mayor Beutler:
"An act of vandalism committed because of political disagreement is reprehensible and should never be tolerated. That’s why the vandalism that occurred at the Republican Party Headquarters should be condemned by all. It is insulting to suggest that Lincoln police officers would ever put politics above their job to protect and serve our community. Our Administration has consistently demonstrated that the safety of all residents is our top priority. J.L. Spray shouldn’t be exploiting this issue to further divide us, he should using it unite us behind the cause of political civility."