Police in NYC are investigating the second set of swastikas found in the last three days
For the second time in three days, the New York City Police Department is investigating swastikas found scrawled in places where children play.
Two swastikas were discovered sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning at Brighton Playground in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, according to the NYPD. The Nazi symbols were written in black marker beneath a slide.
The graffiti was discovered after dozens of swastikas, a Nazi eagle and the words “Hail Hitler” (sic) were found Friday morning drawn in chalk on the pavement of a Queens schoolyard.
The incidents are being investigated by the NYPD’s hate crime task force, according to police.
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who represents Brighton Beach, asked on Twitter on Monday whether the anti-Semitic scrawlings were “the new normal.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged anyone with information to call the NYPD. “This vile, anti-Semitic act is an attack on all of us,” he tweeted.
Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a city spokeswoman, told CNN that the mayor supported a City Council bill to create an office for the prevention of hate crimes. That bill passed the council last month, and became law on Sunday, after the mayor declined to sign or veto the bill.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the graffiti “despicable.”
“Let me be very clear: in New York, we have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and hate of any kind, and no student should ever feel discriminated against or threatened because of their religion or ethnic origin,” Cuomo wrote.
“New York is a beacon of tolerance and hope for all,” he added, “and we will do everything in our power to make sure the perpetrators of these vile acts are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The governor said he’d directed New York State Police to assist the NYPD in their investigations of both incidents.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, who represents the Queens district where the schoolyard was vandalized, told CNN on Sunday that her office received photographs from a resident in the apartment building next to the school and immediately informed the police. According to Koslowitz, the area is a predominately Jewish neighborhood.
Koslowitz called the graffiti “exceptionally scary, and described the images as “horrible, just horrible.”
Koslowitz said she heard stories from her mother, who came from Poland, about anti-Semitic incidents in Europe in the last century. Koslowitz, who grew up in New York, said she never believed an act of this nature could occur in the city.
“This really just has to stop,” she said. “There’s no question about it being a hate crime.”
There were 36 anti-Semitic crimes reported in the city as of February 17, compared with 21 for the same time last year, according to a New York Times report, which cited police reports.
“This has gotten completely out of hand,” Deutsch said this weekend in a statement.