Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Washington State Synagogue Spray Painted with Swastikas, Holocaust Memorial Damaged

Swastikas were painted on a Jewish temple on the South Hill Monday morning and Spokane police are trying to find out who is responsible.

In a press release, Spokane Police Officer John O’Brien said the Temple Beth Shalom reported the antisemitic graffiti around 9:20 a.m. When officers arrived on-scene they found one side of the building, along with a Holocaust memorial, damaged. O’Brien said officers spoke to employees, canvased the neighborhood for surveillance cameras and looked for evidence. Officers also collected paint samples from the building for evidence.

The synagogue’s surveillance camera system captured images of a lone white, male suspect. O’Brien said the man was wearing blue jeans, black boots, a dark colored jacket with hood, a dark colored beanie style stocking cap, black gloves, a red mask and sunglasses on his head.

This is being investigated as malicious harassment and falls under Washington’s definition of a hate crime.  

Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl said in a statement Monday:

“This action is reprehensible. 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.”

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward also issued a statement condemning the crime.

“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. 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.”

If you have any information that could help the investigation, you’re asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 and reference incident #2021-20021312.