NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A message of hate was found scrawled across a historic site for the black community. Police say the African Burial Ground National Monument in lower Manhattan was defaced late last week with a racist slur.
The graffiti has been removed from the site, but it comes after a recent rash of hate crimes in the city.
Police say anti-Semitic slurs were also discovered outside homes in Brooklyn Heights, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
“Racism does exist in New York City,” community activist Tariq Washington said Sunday.
“Some lowlife come and right back here on this monument write ‘kill the N’s.’ You must be out of your mind if you think we’ll remain silent. We want an arrest,” Assemblyman Charles Barron said.
On Sunday afternoon, community leaders expressed disappointment and demanded more information about an alleged hate crime that police say happened Thursday just before noon in front of the African Burial Ground. The NYPD says someone scrawled a racist slur there in black marker.
“I couldn’t hardly believe it. I was the first here to go down into the burial ground in 1991,” Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry said. “Our mothers and fathers are buried here. Our grandmothers are buried here.”
“How can there be all these cameras around and we are still looking for a suspect?” Washington said.
In a separate hate crime on Saturday, exclusive surveillance video shows a group throw a metal pipe, breaking a window at Congregation Avnei Aish Volkon on Myrtle Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant. Police said $250 worth of damage was done and no one was injured.
Sunday’s rally in Manhattan also took place the same day police on Long Island removed a swastika-defaced campaign sign in Stony Brook. That sign was for Perry Gershon, a Jew, who is running on the Democratic ticket in the 1st congressional district race against Republican Lee Zeldin.
There was no word on suspects in that case, but in another case of anti-Semitism in Brooklyn, police have released pictures of two suspects. This past Tuesday at around 9:30 p.m. the NYPD says multiple swastikas were drawn on the steps and garage doors of residential homes on Garden Place near State Street.
The photos come days after officers made an arrest in another anti-Semitic incident at a synagogue in Prospect Heights. Police say 26-year-old James Polite wrote hateful messages in the stairwells and hallways of Union Temple on Eastern Parkway on Thursday at around 8 p.m.
Sources tell CBS2 it’s believed he also set fires outside seven schuls and yeshivas in Williamsburg early Friday morning. In one case we’re told the suspect even got inside and set a fire in a closet.
“People are obviously very upset. They’re concerned about security,” Fred Mogul said.