A playground for detained children is seen through chain link fencing as U.S. first lady Melania Trump tours an immigration detention facility for children run by Southwest Key Programs and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., June 28, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS)
Symbols of hate were drawn on the playground of an elementary school in Queens, New York, on Friday, outraging the predominantly Jewish community there and prompting local authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force told CNN that it was looking into the drawing of swastikas, the words “Heil Hitler” and other antisemitic imagery, and local politicians expressed dismay and “horror” at the sight, which included several swastikas across the schoolyard of PS 139.
While the school was closed, the playground is publicly accessible.
Only two months into the new year, already 36 antisemitic incidents have been reported to local authorities in the city. That amounts to a surge over last year’s figures, which already marked a record high.
The spike in antisemitic incidents in New York follows a national trend. In November of last year, the FBI reported a 37% increase in such incidents over the prior year.
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