Swastikas painted on the Temple Beth Shalom on Spokane’s South Hill are under investigation by the Spokane Police Department.
Investigators received reports around 9:20 a.m. Monday that the synagogue on East 30th Avenue was graffitied, according to the police department. Police found paint on one side of the building, as well as on a Holocaust memorial.
The perpetrator was seen alone on the Temple Beth Shalom camera system wearing blue jeans, black boots, a dark-colored jacket with a hood, a dark-colored, beanie-style stocking cap, black gloves, a red mask and sunglasses on his head, according to the police department.
Police are investigating the matter as malicious harassment and a hate crime.
“This action is reprehensible,” Spokane police Chief Craig Meidl said in a statement. “There is no place for hate-mongering in our community. SPD takes this crime very seriously and is committed to doing everything possible to arrest the person or persons responsible. We will always stand with those who are the target of hate and bigotry.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233. Use reference No. 2021-20021312.
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward condemned the graffiti in a statement Monday, saying Spokane is “a community that welcomes different faiths and protects the ability of people to practice those beliefs safely and freely in their places of worship.
“The symbols and writings are disgusting and desecrate a place of worship and a memorial to those whose lives were lost during a hateful time in world history,” she said. “The Spokane Police Department has dedicated numerous resources to the investigation of this hate crime. We speak on behalf of the community when we say this type of hate and divisiveness in our community will never be tolerated.”
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