By Tim Harfmann
The NYPD is looking for the man in a surveillance photo. They believe he’s connected with anti-Semitic graffiti inside the Union Temple of Brooklyn. It is located on Eastern Parkway, near Grand Army Plaza, in Prospect Heights.
The suspect is described as 20-years-old, five-foot-eight, 140 pounds with black hair and last seen wearing a red suit jacket. An NYPD spokesperson said the hateful messages, written in black marker, included swastikas, “Hitler,” and the message “kill all Jews.”
“It’s totally shocking and horrible,” said Stacey Reed. She worships at the Union Temple of Brooklyn.
The hateful messages were discovered the November 1st, before a political event regarding the midterm elections on November 6th. The gathering was cancelled as a precaution. The temple’s Jewish school was closed. Synagogue officials didn’t want to talk about the vandalism.
Walker Reese is a Brooklyn resident and hosting loved ones from out of town. They were shocked as they walked passed the temple and heard the news. “It’s disgusting. Just the amount of hate going on. This is not what New York is about. This is a multicultural community. We all need to come together,” said Reese. “I see no reason somebody would target a specific religious group,” said Frank Ramsdell.
This latest hate crime is part of a string of attacks against Jews. Less than a week ago, 11 Jewish men and women were killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Earlier this week, swastikas were written on a brownstone in Brooklyn. The NYPD said hate crimes against the Jewish community are up compared to this time last year.
Residents said during this tragic time, there must be unity. “One of my favorite things about the city is that there are people from all walks of life. And to see things like this going on, it’s not fair. It really needs to stop,” said Reese. “Hands across the water. We all have to join together and act out. Speak up against this kind of behavior,” said Reed.
Anyone with information about the suspect or crime is asked to call the crime stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. You can also text the police at “crimes,” then enter TIP-5-7-7. All calls and messages are kept confidential.