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Connecticut Law Enforcement Probes Antisemitic Signs Displayed over Railroad Bridge

Fairfield police launched an investigation this week into the hanging of several pro-Palestinian posters at the Unquowa Road railroad bridge. Though some have called the posters antisemitic, the police department is not classifying the incident as a hate crime.

Patch has seen pictures of the posters, which carried slogans such as “Palestine will be free,” “Israel lied to you and me,” “Stop murdering children,” and “Free Palestine.” They were glued to the walls of the overpass this week, and have been removed by crews from the town’s Department of Public Works.

The incident was reported to police and several public officials on Wednesday by resident Greg Hirshorn, who spotted the posters that morning on his way to the train. He tried removing them, but could not because they were glued to the metal.

In an email obtained by Patch to police and local officials, Hirshorn wrote, in part, the following:

“For the awareness piece that is why I am sending this email to respective leaders of my districts RTM and the town as a whole. It is disturbing enough that incidents like this are taking place in the town that I know and love, but the thought of this happening and then no attention being given to the issue at hand is even more disturbing. It is critical that we are aware and take a proper accounting of the issues our town faces, and antisemitism should be high on this list.”

Hirshorn is seeking public acknowledgement from town officials of the incident, and information on what steps are being taken to address it.

“In terms of what this means for our community I want to ensure that we are aware and taking steps to deal with this,” Hirshorn wrote. “This cannot happen and be met with a blind eye, that is unacceptable to me. I noticed many of you at the rally for Israel on the town green and I truly appreciated your presence at that event. I am asking for your continued support in addressing this continuing issue in our town. I would like to continue communicating with the proper parties to ensure that our community is one of love, tolerance, and devoid of any kind of hate like antisemitism.”

In a statement emailed to Patch, Fairfield Police Sgt. Michael Stahl confirmed that an investigation is underway, but emphasized that it is “not classified as a hate crime.”

“The Fairfield Police Department acknowledges the receipt of a report of several posters found glued to the Unquowa Road railroad bridge related to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, which has caused some concerns within the community,” Stahl wrote. “Our officers and detectives promptly responded, initiating an investigation.

“The posters have been removed by the Department of Public Works. An ongoing investigation is in progress to identify those responsible for placing them, and we appreciate the community’s patience as we work towards a resolution.

“It is crucial to note that this incident is classified as criminal mischief and defacement of public property. We want to emphasize that it is not considered a hate crime.

“We live in a diverse community with many differing views, and we encourage the respectful expression of opinions. However, it is essential to understand that defacing public or private property will never be tolerated. Those found responsible for this criminal mischief will face appropriate charges. We value the community’s commitment to reporting such incidents and encourage continued vigilance. Together, let’s continue to foster a safe and inclusive community for all residents.”

https://patch.com/connecticut/fairfield/police-investigate-pro-palestinian-posters-hung-fairfield