Brooklyn Heights

Swastikas and racial slurs found on Brooklyn Heights block

October 31, 2018 By Sara Bosworth Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Swastikas and racial slurs were drawn on buildings up and down a Brooklyn Heights block on Oct. 30, the night before Halloween. Photo courtesy of Molly Cooper

The morning of Halloween, residents of a Brooklyn Heights block famous among trick-or-treaters woke to find their street defaced with Nazi symbols and racial slurs.

Police were called to Garden Place on Tuesday night around 10:30 p.m. after a resident reported that swastikas and other hate messages had been drawn in chalk on buildings near Garden Place and State Street. Police told NBC that among other messages, the n-word was written on multiple surfaces up and down the block.

The next morning, more swastikas were seen on a garage door on the other end of Garden Place near Joralemon Street.   

The vandalism came just before the street’s busiest night of the year when “thousands of visitors” come to trick-or-treat on Garden Place, one resident said.

“The block is packed from end to end with kids on Halloween,” Judy Stanton, former executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, told the Brooklyn Eagle. Carved pumpkins sit on most doorsteps and cobwebs are strung up between brownstones. There’s even a witch dangling above the center of the street.

Two years ago, weeks after the 2016 presidential election, a Brooklyn Heights playground was vandalized with Nazi symbolism. Swastikas were drawn on a jungle gym at Adam Yauch Park, along with the words “Go Trump.”

Tuesday night’s vandalism comes on the heels of the largest attack on Jewish people in U.S. history, in which 11 people were massacred at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.

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Neighborhood residents told the Eagle that there are cameras at the end of the block. The police have categorized this as a bias incident, and the 84th precinct is investigating along with the Hate Crimes Task force.

The Brooklyn Heights Association put out a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to the incident: 

“The BHA condemns in the strongest possible terms the desecration of buildings in our neighborhood with symbols and words of hate that appeared on Garden Place.

We are grateful to the NYPD for its immediate response last evening and its ongoing investigation into those who perpetrated this act.  We call upon all our leaders and people everywhere of good faith to resist the forces promoting messages and acts of hate in our city and nation.”

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