What to Know
- A swastika was spray-painted outside of a 78-year-old man's home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, over the weekend
- Photos of the swastika were posted on Twitter and police released images of a suspect in the case
- There have been similar incidents across the U.S. since Trump was elected, but cops don't know what motivated the spray-painter in Brooklyn
Swastikas, "No Jews" and other anti-Semitic and racist messages have been spray-painted on streets, buildings and sidewalks across the tri-state in recent days, authorities said.
Authorities in New York City, White Plains and Ramapo, New Jersey, said they are investigating several instances of racially and religiously targeted vandalism in the last several days.
In Brooklyn, a suspect spray-painted a swastika in front of a 78-year-old man's home near Montgomery Street and Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights.
Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone tweeted a photo of the swastika on Sunday morning.
“Swastika spray painted on Montgomery St in heart of Jewish Crown Heights,” Lightstone wrote, adding that it wasn’t the first to appear in the neighborhood.
On Sunday, the mayor’s office referenced Lightstone’s message and tweeted that “acts of violence in our beautifully diverse city will not be tolerated. We are all better than this.”
Several hours after photos of the swastika were posted, a Twitter user uploaded a video of someone spray-painting over what appeared to be the same swastika.
Swastikas were also discovered on four dorm rooms at the New School in Manhattan. No arrests were reported in those incidents. The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating.
And in White Plains, authorities are looking for the vandal or vandals who scrawled anti-Semitic and racist messages onto a bike path at the Bronx River Pathway. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is expected to release more information on the vandalism on Monday afternoon.
Gov. Cuomo has ordered investigations into two episodes in the last week of alleged hate crimes.
In an instance further upstate, a swastika and "Make America White Again" were scrawled onto a wall at a softball field in Wellsville, New York, last week.
In the other, a swastika along with the word "Trump" was found in the common area of a dorm at SUNY Geneseo.
There's also been at least one instance of anti-Semitic graffiti in New Jersey in recent days. Police in Ramapo said that vandals spray-painted "No Jews" in front of a pair of houses for sale on Carteret Drive early on Monday.
Authorities responding to the properties found the messages in orange paint on the roadway by "for sale" signs. Later, officers found the same message on another real estate sign nearby.
There have been similar incidents across the U.S. in the wake of the presidential election. Most of the cases appear to involve graffiti or violence directed at racial or ethnic minorities and in some reports the perpetrators indicated support for President-elect Donald Trump. Some of the cases were reported by police, but many more appeared on social media as anecdotes and not all have been verified.
No evidence has been found linking the swastika in Brooklyn to supporters of Trump.
Calls had been growing for Trump to speak out against the string of hateful incidents since his election. During a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, Trump looked at the camera and said that any supporters of his who are harassing people or destroying property should “stop it.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that people painting hateful graffiti in the wake of the election are “not Republicans” and “we don't want them in our party.”
The NYPD asks anyone with information about the swastika in Brooklyn to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.