A wave of anti-Semitic and racially charged graffiti hit several locations in Medford, Massachusetts over the weekend, leaving local residents and officials vowing to mount a vigorous investigation into the identities of the perpetrators who desecrated the city on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
According to Police, 12 different areas of South Medford including Tufts University, local schools, playgrounds and posted signs were tagged with swastikas, racially charged language and apparent gang symbols.
Mayor Michael J. McGlynn said he thinks the attack was planned to coincide with the annual commemoration of the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.
“I think it’s too much of a coincidence that it would happen on a day when so many remembrance services were going on,” he said, according to The Boston Globe.
“Today we again say with one voice that these hateful messages will not be tolerated in our community,” he added.
Medford Police Chief Leo A. Sacco Jr. said police are investigating the incident under the state’s hate crime law.
The Anti Defamation League issued a statement strongly condemning the acts.
“Marking public and private property with symbols of hate is an act of intimidation that that affects our entire community, not just those groups identified,” said Robert Trestan, ADL Acting New England Regional Director. “It is most disturbing that this graffiti was found outside of an Elementary School where young children come to learn and should feel safe.”
“The Medford Police Department has made it clear that these acts will not be tolerated and we commend their efforts,” Trestan added. “It is critical that society send a message back to those who seek to provoke hostility by combining our efforts to fight hate and bigotry, and ensure that those responsible are prosecuted.”
The League’s experts are currently providing information and assistance to investigators working to solve the case.