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October 18, 2011

Santa Monica and Brentwood are targets of swastika graffiti

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/santa_monica_and_brentwood_are_targets_of_swastika_graffiti_20111018/

[UPDATED on October 18, 11:20 p.m.]
Two swastikas were spray-painted in Brentwood last weekend, including one at 700 Gretna Green Way and one at a sign at a school at 11600 San Vincente Blvd., according to Rabbi Morley Feinstein of University Synagogue, who said he was summarizing a report by a Los Angeles Police Department official.

The Brentwood graffiti might have been the work of the same person or same group of people responsible for several pieces of swastika graffiti spray-painted in Santa Monica last weekend, a Santa Monica Police Department official said. No suspect or suspects have been identified in either the Brentwood or Santa Monica incidents.

The swastikas in Brentwood were painted in red, Feinstein said, like the Santa Monica swastikas.

Last Saturday, two West Los Angeles neighborhoods were targeted with swastika graffiti.

Spray-painted swastikas were discovered in Santa Monica, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, the public information officer of the Santa Monica Police Department.

Also on Saturday, areas around Brentwood were “spray-painted with swastikas,” according to an email sent out by the Brentwood Community Council.

Lewis said 12 red swastikas had been spray-painted in Santa Monica and they were likely the work of one person or a group of people acting together. 

“Several buildings and street signs in Brentwood on San Vicente Blvd., Montana Ave. and several areas around Brentwood Magnet School” were spray-painted, according to the Brentwood Community Council email alert.

Both incidents apparently took place on Saturday night.

Although no suspects have been identified in the Santa Monica incident, police officials are working off at least one lead and the investigation will be ongoing, Lewis said. Police are considering the Santa Monica graffiti a hate crime.

According to the Brentwood Community Council email, “LAPD and LAUSD are investigating the [Brentwood] acts as a hate crime.” The watch commander at the West L.A. Community Police Station, which oversees the Brentwood area, could not be reached to provide any additional details about the Brentwood graffiti.

Lewis did not want to speculate about whether or not the Santa Monica and Brentwood incidents were the work of the same person or group of people.

There were no Jewish targets of the Santa Monica graffiti. The swastikas were spray-painted onto small businesses and homes around 7th St. and Montana Ave., La Mesa Drive, Georgina Ave. and elsewhere. The graffiti was reported on Sunday morning. The swastikas in Santa Monica were “about 24 inches in size, maybe a little larger,” Lewis said, and there was no text accompanying them. The sites have since been cleaned, he said.

The affected Brentwood sites have been cleaned as well, according to the email from the Brentwood Community Council.

On Monday, Oct. 17, a representative of the Anti-Defamation League said the organization had been notified about the graffiti in Santa Monica. “We keep track of random swastikas, but unless there’s a nexus with something Jewish—Jewish home, Jewish institution—we don’t necessarily say … it was targeting Jews,” said Alison Mayersohn, ADL senior associate director for the Pacific Southwest region.

Check back here for updates on both incidents.

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