Teens sought after swastika spray painted on Brooklyn tree

Sunday incident, condemned by area politicians and Gov. Cuomo, being investigated as a state level hate crime.


Jews in Brooklyn
Jews in Brooklyn
Flash 90

A swastika discovered spray painted onto a tree in front of a Brooklyn house early Sunday morning is being investigated by police as a hate crime.

The vandals reportedly defaced the trunk of the large tree in front of the Bay Ridge home at approximately 1 a.m. on June 27, reported Brooklyn Paper.

Police told the news outlet on Monday morning that there were no suspects. However, surveillance footage captured a group of teenagers committing the vandalism.

Local councillor Justin Brannan said on social media that he had the swastika removed from the tree as soon as he was informed about it. He added that regardless of the young age of the vandals, their use of the swastika was “not a joke or some silly prank.”

“I had it removed as soon as it was brought to my attention. Based on video footage, it looks like it was done by young teens,” Brannan wrote on Facebook. “The swastika is a symbol of anti-Semitism, hatred, mass murder, and terror and its appearance must be taken seriously even if it was the work of some young kids.”

State Senator Andrew Gounardes, who represents Bar Ridge, tweeted that he was shocked by the incident.

"Greatly upset that a swastika was found in Bay Ridge & even more disturbed that video shows it was done by young teens,” he said. “A recent survey showed ~ 30% of NY 18-39 yr olds think the Holocaust was a myth. We cannot let the next gen forget those horrors.”

In a Monday statement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the incident was being investigated as a state level hate crime.

“These ignorant anti-Semitic hate crimes against our Jewish brothers and sisters are an attack on all New Yorkers,” he said.