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Archive for the tag 'hate crimes'

17th Avenue and 58th Street, Brooklyn (Source; Google Maps)

17th Avenue and 58th Street, Brooklyn (Source; Google Maps)

A swastika and other hate-filled messages were found scrawled along several properties near 58th Street and 17th Avenue in Borough Park yesterday, leading to the quick arrest of three suspects.

The anti-Semitic graffiti included messages that read “you don’t belong,” and “get out.” The perps broke into a residential construction site and a yeshiva to leave their unwelcome marks, as well as spraying it on the side of a yeshiva school bus.

The graffiti was first found and reported by contractors at the construction site, where it was found on different walls within a second floor room.

An administrator of the yeshiva helped make the bust. School authorities found the graffiti inside of their building. Unknown to the perps was that their hate-fueled graffiti spree inside the school was caught on surveillance cameras, and the footage was shared with police.

Councilman David Greenfield, whose office provided the information for this post, notes that the investigators identified the three suspects from the footage, and arrested them yesterday evening.

“I am very pleased that the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force has made quick arrests of young punks trying to intimidate our community by scrawling messages of hate. It’s appalling that these guys would come into our neighborhood simply to spread their anti-Semitic views. I trust that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for their despicable crimes,” said Greenfield.

A still from surveillance video.

A still from surveillance video that shows the vandalism in progress.

Michael Setiawan, the former police officer arrested earlier this month in connection with an anti-Semitic graffiti spree in Borough Park, was hit on Tuesday with a 39-count indictment charging him with multiple counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime, among other charges.

Setiawan, 36, was arraigned on Friday via video conference from Bellevue Hospital, where he has been under observation since his arrest on May 4. He is being held on $75,000 bail.

If found guilty, Setiawan faces up to four years in prison on each of the nine hate crime charges.

“Hate crimes such as these are hurtful and must not be tolerated in a civilized society, particularly in Brooklyn, where we embrace diversity,” said District Attorney Ken Thompson in a statement announcing the indictment.

Setiawan is accused of taking to the streets on May 3, spraying swastikas and anti-Semitic messages on 15 vehicles and four buildings, including a Jewish elementary school. Surveillance video at one of the locations captured a fairly clear shot of the perpetrator’s face.

Setiawan served only two years on the police force.

The Daily News reports that court documents claim Setiawan copped to the vandalism, saying he did it because he was poorly tipped by Jewish clients when he was a deliveryman.

“I just vandalized the cars…because I don’t like those people,” Setiawan said from his holding cell at the 68th Precinct stationhouse, according to a document made public Tuesday.

Asked why, he replied: “Because they’re cheap…When I was a deliveryman, they never gave me anything.”

Video via JPUpdates.

A still from surveillance video.

A still from surveillance video.

Authorities arrested Michael Setiawan, a former police officer, and charged him on Sunday with criminal mischief as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime after he was captured on camera spray painting anti-Semitic messages in Borough Park.

The New York Times reports:

The anti-Semitic messages began appearing before 9 p.m. on Saturday around 14th Avenue in Brooklyn. The police said about four buildings and 15 private cars were marked.

Soon after, the Borough Park Shomrim, a neighborhood watch group, shared video with a Jewish news website, JPUpdates, showing a man in the act of spray-painting a door. The police could not immediately say whether the man in the video was Mr. Setiawan.

The Daily News adds:

The rants included “F–k you Jews” and “Jews ain’t s–t.” Many of the scrawls were found along Dahill Rd. and 37th St., and 14th Ave. near 38th St.

Surveillance video captured images of a bald-headed man wielding a spray-paint can.

Setiawan was assigned to the 69th Precinct, which covers Canarsie, before leaving the department in 2007, police said. A police source said Setiawan left the force because he was suffering from depression.

After several hours of questioning on Sunday, Setiawan was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

Although a police source told the News Setiawan left the force because of depression, the Times notes that the reasons weren’t immediately clear. Other reports indicate he was fired, while some say he resigned.

It isn’t Setiawan’s first run in with the law, though. He’s been busted six times since leaving the force, although the charges remain sealed and may have been dropped.

The Post spoke to neighbors, who said that the former cop is troubled and has been showing signs of psychological distress for some time:

Setiawan’s neighbors in Bellerose said he would lie down on their lawns and start bizarre conversations.

Randhir Singh said neighbors suspected him of scrawling graffiti and of keying cars in the area.

“He’s not well,’’ Singh said.

“I’ve seen him walking his dog and stop suddenly then he would pretend to punch the sky or he would look like he was swatting flies.”

Momana Ahmed said, “I hope he’s charged and kept away from us because he’s crazy if he’s going around keying cars. Right now it’s just harassment, but he could wind up hurting somebody.’’

Video via JPUpdates.

Source: ah zut/Flickr

The man believed to be behind the Friday morning attack of a Jewish man on the Midwood – Kensington border was not charged with a hate crime, despite calls from local elected officials who say that perpatrators of the so-called “knockout game” are specifically targeting Jewish victims.

The 2:00 a.m. attack on 18th Avenue and East 5th Street saw four men arrested, but Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office only filed charges against Amrit Marajh, who allegedly took the swing. He has been charged with misdemeanor assault, menacing and harassment charges, and has posted $750 bail. Police initially arrested him for a hate crime, a charge the district attorney did not press.

The assault is believed to be the latest incident of the violent “knockout game,” in which thugs take down unsuspecting passersby with a sucker punch before running off. The victim in this case was a 24-year-old Orthodox Jewish man.

Although it appears to be a national phenomenon, local leaders say the Brooklyn version has taken on an ugly racial edge, with the victims being Orthodox Jews living in Crown Heights, Midwood and Kensington.

CBS News reports:

One of the suspects, identified as Amrit Marajh, 28, was charged with aggravated assault as a hate crime, among other counts.

The other three suspects were released without charges.

… “I came across a group of people who were walking towards me, and I was able to hear them speaking loudly about this knockout game,” he said.

Kelly also told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin, “Just prior to it, (the assailants) were talking about the knockout game.”

The victim told investigators he heard one of the attackers say, “I’ll do it to this guy,” right before he was surrounded and punched, sources told CBS 2.

Marajh, through his lawyer, claims that the incident had nothing to do with the knockout game.

The Daily News reports:

Amrit Marajh, 28, had just left a bar on McDonald Ave. on Friday with four friends and was talking about boxing when the knockout game came up, police sources said.

“You can’t do that,” one member of the group said as they came upon Shmuel Perl, 24, according to a source.

Marajh allegedly said, “Yes I can, I’ll do it to this guy right now!” before punching Perl in the face, leaving him bruised.

Perl was not knocked out. According to news reports, all four appeared  intoxicated when they were arrested.

Authorities across the country have begun to question if the game even exists, or if the media is simply connecting a number of random acts that can occur on any given day.

The New York Times reports:

Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted to little more than an urban myth, and that the attacks in question might be nothing more than the sort of random assaults that have always occurred.

And in New York City, police officials are struggling to determine whether they should advise the public to take precautions against the Knockout Game — or whether in fact it existed.

“We’re trying to determine whether or not this is a real phenomenon,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Friday. “I mean, yes, something like this can happen. But we would like to have people come forward and give us any information they have.”

Still, a diverse set of local elected have come forward to denounce the attacks. As we’ve already reported, Public Advocate-elect Letitia James, Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch and Councilman David Greenfield have condemned the attacks, as has Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Later today, Congressmembers Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, District Attorney-elect Ken Thompson, and Borough President-elect Eric Adams will hold a press conference doing the same.

Reverend Al Sharpton is also urging his supporters to speak out against the attacks, and is organizing a media campaign.

“If someone was running around talking about knocking out blacks, we would not be silent,” Sharpton said, according to CBS. “We cannot be silent.”

Sharpton aims to kick off a celebrity-driven public service announcement campaign to denounce the attacks.

Image courtesy of the offices of Assemblyman Dov Hikind

No new information has been released regarding the vandals responsible for the wave of anti-Semitic graffiti in Borough Park. The acts of hate have prompted many community leaders to publicly condemn the perpetrators.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler has announced his desire to join the local leaders and work with law enforcement, elected officials and community leaders to keep the neighborhood free from symbols of hate.

 “I stand with the Borough Park community in condemning these ugly acts of hate directed at the Jewish community.  Swastikas, which are abhorrent and unacceptable symbols of hatred and violence, placed at the core of Brooklyn’s Jewish community unfortunately demonstrate that anti-Semitism is alive and well.  The perpetrator must be caught and prosecuted, and we must stand together to say that we will not tolerate such cowardly displays of bigotry,” he said.

Image courtesy of the offices of Assemblyman Dov Hikind

Just a few weeks after the Borough Park area was vandalized with anti-semetic graffiti, the perpetrators have struck again.

Police have a video of the vandals drawing on a car in front of the Hamodia office at 207 Foster Avenue in Borough Park. It is not yet clear whether these are the same two men from last week or copycats.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind has put up a a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the men in the video.

“We don’t know who is doing this yet, but we know why,” Hikind wrote on his blog. “Some individuals are sending a message. We hear them. And when they’re caught, and they will be, we’ll send a message, too. I urge anyone with any information to come forward.”

In the last few weeks, swastikas have been painted on a minivan, a deli gate, a supermarket, a synagogue and a variety of other places.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.

The NYPD released a video that shows the two men suspected of spray-painting swastikas on a store gate, truck and other places.

The vandalism on film occurred at Fischman’s Food Center at 4421 16th Avenue and around the corner at 1605 46th Street, according to DNA Info.

The video shows one man to be in black shorts, black shoes, glasses and a light-colored sweatshirt, and the other man is in light-colored shorts, a T-shirt and baseball cap.

Anyone with information regarding the identity and whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.

Source: Flatbush Scoop

Earlier today we reported on several sites that had been spray-painted with messages of hate around Borough Park. Now, more swastikas have popped up after a weekend vandalizing spree.

The latest of the swastikas was found drawn on a parked van at East 2nd Street and Avenue F.

A passer-by called 911 to report the graffiti on Sunday night, according to My Fox NY.

A synagogue and five buildings in the area were hit on Friday. Police have surveillence video of the men and are reviewing it to see if the incidents are connected.

Councilman Greenfield surveying the damage at a local synagogue

Recently, Borough Park residents woke up to find swastikas painted on at least a half-dozen buildings throughout the neighborhood. Councilman David Greenfield is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for the hateful attack on the community.

Swastikas were discovered early Friday morning spray painted on at least six buildings in the vicinity of 16th Avenue, including a synagogue, a public school and several businesses. The NYPD is currently investigating the latest hate crime against Brooklyn’s Jewish community, including reviewing security footage from local businesses.

“Once again, we find ourselves under attack from individuals who think nothing of spreading hate and fear throughout the community. This is absolutely unacceptable, especially in an area that is home to so many Holocaust survivors. Rest assured, I will work with the NYPD until those responsible for this horrific crime are caught and held responsible. Our community will not be intimidated by these senseless acts of hate,” said Greenfield.

Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the NYPD’s confidential tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS.

The vandalized phone

by Steven Volynets and Shamar Hill

When we started our literary project about being Jewish in Brooklyn almost a year ago, it was a venture of introspection – a search for the meaning of self in communities as diverse as New York City. As we set out to interview Jewish men and women from all walks of life, we asked what common thread connected a Holocaust survivor, a female Rabbi, a gunned down rapper, a prominent politician and others to us – two writers, one a Soviet-Jewish immigrant, the other Jewish and African American.

But when, by sheer accident, we witnessed a man paint swastikas across a payphone booth in Midwood, just days after a string of Anti-Semitic vandalism, our work gained a new sense of urgency.

On Saturday, November 19, we got together in Brooklyn, as we often do, to write and share ideas. Around 11:30 p.m. we took a break and walked to a local ShopRite. As we walked back, at the intersection of Ocean Parkway and Avenue I, we noticed a man in his late 30s, early 40s, wearing dark sunglasses in the middle of the night and tearing down NYPD posters asking for information about recent anti-Semitic hate crimes in the neighborhood. The man gave us a sharp stare and walked off, knocking over a newspaper vending machine.

We decided to follow him. In some unspoken way, we were protecting the neighborhood of our youth.  As we shadowed him, we called the police. After walking several blocks, the man stopped in front of a payphone on 18th Avenue and Ocean Parkway. He banged the receiver and we could see he was doing something to the booth. Fifteen minutes later, the police had not yet come to the scene and we headed towards the local precinct. On our way back, we passed the phone. And there it was: Swastikas and ‘Kill Jews’ written in gray marker.

Keep reading to find out what happened next, and how the NYPD may have lost an opportunity to catch a hate crime suspect.

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