Updated 06/15/2012 10:23 PM
Police Investigate Swastikas Spray Painted In Borough Park
Police are investigating after vandals spread anti-Semitic graffiti around a neighborhood known for its large Jewish population, the latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents in the area over the last year. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.
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This surveillance video captures two men spray painting swastikas inside and outside Fischman's Grocery after 2 a.m Friday morning. One of the men, who is wearing a hooded sweatshirt, seems to calmly look right into the camera.
People in the tigh- knit ultra-orthodox community were subjected to these symbols of hate six locations, including three along a commercial strip on 16th Ave.
"It's very upsetting when you're reminded of the second World War," said resident Zevi Shteirman. "As my grandmother passed over here, she started crying."
"This is the ultimate symbol of hate, the swastika," said State Assemblyman Dov Hikind. "My own mother went to Auschwitz in 1944. My grandmother was killed in Auschwitz. That's the symbol that sent her to the gas chambers."
The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is looking at surveillance video provided by area businesses as they investigate this crime.
"They should get what they deserve for this," said resident Israel Lieberman. "It's anti-Semitic and there's no reason we should be hated."
"I would hang them," said resident Menachem Ben-Simcha. "If it was up to me, I would hang them."
This is the latest hate crime Jews in Brooklyn have had to contend with in the last year, including incidents in January, when swastikas and a hateful message were scrawled on homes in Midwood and an Orthodox Jewish school was targeted.
"So far, no one has been arrested for any of these crimes," Hikind said. "We just need to get people off the streets who are filled with hate."
"You got to put an end to the hatred," said resident Jeffrey Stern. "You have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to live together."
Councilman David Greenfield is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577 or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. Tips can remain anonymous.