City News

Swastikas spray-painted on historical marker near Jewish synagogue

Hate crimes in Madison like the vandalism near a synagogue in James Madison Park have increased dramatically since 2015.

Image By: Photo Courtesy of Madison Police Department

Swastikas were discovered spray-painted in red on a historical marker in James Madison Park early Wednesday morning.

According to Madison Police Department officials, a passerby said the graffiti was not there at 10 p.m. the night before and without any surveillance footage in the area, police cannot pinpoint the crime’s exact time. Another individual alerted them at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to the swastikas, as well as “TRUMP RULES,” and “ANTIFA SUCKS” sprayed across the monument.

Joel Despain, public information officer for MPD, told The Daily Cardinal that as of right now the tentative charges are defamation of property. Once they find the perpetrator, it could rise to the level of a hate crime. He said that if they find the perpetrator and their action was motivated “by a hatred of the Jewish Faith,” it would meet the intent requirement under Wisconsin State Statutes.

In their press release MPD notified The Jewish Federation of Madison and said they will continue to keep them updated.

Yogev Ben-Yitschak, a member of the University of Wisconsin Hillel and Outreach Director for the Associated Students of Madison, said, “Such blatant anti-semitic acts like this remind me that our society still has so far to go in regards to hatred and discrimination in Madison. I hope with the coming of the Jewish New Year [today], we think about everything we can do to support students and community members through these horrific acts of discrimination.”

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