Swastikas and racial slurs were spray-painted on several cars, highway overpasses, buildings and an elementary school playground over the weekend in a suburb of Buffalo, New York, according to local media.
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The graffiti was discovered on Saturday morning and local police told The Buffalo News that reports of defaced property continued to come in from across the town of Orchard Park throughout the day. According to the newspaper, “about a dozen residents” of Orchard Park were victims of the attacks, and the local South Davis Elementary School was also spray-painted with Nazi graffiti and racial slurs.
"The Jewish community is particularly sensitive to this type of vandalism and display of hate symbolism, and we stand with the people and leadership of Orchard Park in fighting and denouncing any symbols, actions and language of hate,“ Rob Goldberg, CEO and executive director of the Buffalo Jewish Federation said. "We are appalled at the vandalism in Orchard Park, particularly on a playground, a place that should always be safe and accessible for all children.
The incidents occurred as awareness of an increase in anti-Semitic attacks, threats and other racially motivated hate crimes has hit headlines in the U.S., and following the high-profile defacement of a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri and four waves of bomb threats against Jewish community centers.
Police in Buffalo said Saturday that security videos were being examined in an attempt to find the culprits as the graffiti was being cleaned up, and asked for the public’s help in identifying them.
An online crowdsourcing campaign was launched on the GoFundMe website by a member of the community to pay for the cleanup at the South Davis Elementary School because “South Davis Elementary shouldn't have to take money out of classrooms because of these thoughtless and hurtful actions.”
“As a concerned member of the Buffalo community, I feel that this sort of hate crime cannot be tolerated,” the member added.