NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nerves were rattled in a community in Queens on Saturday after anti-Semitic and hateful graffiti was found scrawled across a school playground.
Dozens of swastikas and other anti-Semitic messages were drawn in chalk outside PS 139 in Rego Park. They were spotted by a school custodian Friday afternoon.
Local leaders took to social media to condemn the hateful drawings, which have since been washed away.
So far this year, 36 anti-Semitic crimes have been reported in the city compared to 21 at this time last year.
In an interview with WNYC on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the overall increase in hate crimes is unacceptable.
“There’s no question there is a huge uptick in real hate crime of all types,” de Blasio said. “In this city we’ve seen it in a horrible manner, particularly lately anti-Semitic hate crimes.”
Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-48th) is hoping to help prevent that kind of hate with education, and says he’s trying to pass a law that would require the discussion of hate crimes in schools.
“We as a city need to do more,” he said. “We can’t just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk.”
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the Rego Park incident.