NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Friday charged a Brooklyn man after anti-Semitic slurs were found inside a synagogue in Brooklyn. The arrest came as Jews observe Shabbat.
Security guards and NYPD officers patrolled outside houses of worship across the city Friday night as congregants stood up to fear.
Show up for Shabbat was a show of solidarity for those who came under attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday. 11 worshipers were killed in the massacre, and the local call for unity came together came as police say more hate crimes were committed at Jewish houses of worship in Brooklyn.
“I would characterize it as beyond disturbing,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. “We will not stand for this type of activity in New York City.”
On Thursday night, police say 26-year-old James Polite, of Brooklyn, scrawled anti-Semitic slurs inside Union Temple on Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights. Due to the threat, a political event was called off and pre-school classes at the synagogue were cancelled for the day.
“I understand the pain Jewish New Yorkers feel right now, and this incident only added to it,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
On Friday night, the NYPD announced they arrested Polite, allegedly seen in surveillance video from the Temple, for the hateful graffiti. Sources tell CBS2 he’s also believed to have set fires outside seven shuls and yeshivas in Williamsburg overnight.
In connection to the vandalism at Union Temple, Polite was charged with criminal mischief, hate crime, and making graffiti.
Although times may be scary and uncertain, the anxiety associated with not knowing what could come next didn’t stop Jewish families from proudly practicing their faith.
The Show up for Shabbat movement will continue through the weekend with services scheduled for Saturday. The NYPD says Jewish New Yorkers can expect to see an increased police presence at their houses of worship in the coming days.