Watch: Suspects in anti-Semitic graffiti in Toronto suburb

Surveillance video released by police shows three suspects wanted for defacing schools in Markham with anti-Semitic graffiti.

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Elad Benari,

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Police on Wednesday released surveillance video of three suspects wanted for defacing schools in Markham, a suburb of Toronto, with anti-Semitic and racist graffiti, Global News reports.

The offensive graffiti was found on the walls, windows and playground equipment at three schools in the town on Sunday.

Hate crime investigators said they believe the same suspects are responsible for each of the incidents, which likely took place either late Saturday night or early Sunday.

The video, released by York Regional Police on Wednesday, features clips of three young men — though only two can be seen together at any time. At one point, a suspect wearing a backward baseball cap appears to be holding a can of spray paint while using his cellphone as a flashlight.

Some of the graffiti, discovered on a slide at the William Armstrong Public School playground, referenced the KKK and white power and equated the Star of David with the swastika.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti condemned the vandalism, saying, “There’s no room for racism in Markham anywhere, but I’ll tell you, these perpetrators really crossed the line when they put those symbols on the playground at schools.”

York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said in a statement quoted by Global News that the police service would not tolerate hate crimes.

“Crimes like these are devastating to everyone who takes pride in being part of such a diverse and inclusive community,” Jolliffe said.

“I am asking our community to come together and share information that will help us find the people responsible for these crimes. I strongly encourage those responsible to seek legal advice and turn themselves in.”

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) condemned the graffiti on Monday.

"We have seen Ontario schools become the targets of numerous anti-Semitic graffiti attacks this year, and this anti-Semitic messaging is often combined with messaging inspired by the white supremacist movement." said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo.

"We commend the police for quickly taking action and treating the graffiti as a serious crime as they search for suspects," he added.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) condemned the incident as well.

“We are disgusted by this act of hate. This is an appalling attempt to intimidate the Jewish and Black communities, and another painful example of how antisemitism goes hand-in-hand with other forms of racism. We have spoken with York Regional Police and York Region District School Board to offer our support for their efforts, as well as our friends at the Vaughan African Canadian Association to express our solidarity at this difficult time,” it said on Facebook.

Earlier this year, two swastikas were found drawn in chalk in a York University classroom. Police in York Region in Ontario later said they would increase patrols and presence at synagogues, Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions across the region.

In March, two Jewish centers in Ontario received bomb threats, in incidents that occurred at the same time that community centers across the United States had received similar threats.








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