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Two Swastikas Found in Downtown Miami


Judge David Young was coming back from a lunch outside the Miami-Dade County Bar Association on Thursday when he saw something that disgusted him: a Nazi symbol spray-painted in front of the building.

“I saw it was a swastika and at that point my stomach turned and I almost got physically ill,” said Young, who’s been a judge for more than 25 years.

Young has never seen a hate symbol so close to a government building, and it wasn’t the last time he was going to see it that day. Just after seeing the Swastika marked on a wall at 1:30 p.m., Young went to work warning others about what he saw. He spoke with Jacqueline Kiviat, the executive director of the bar association, and she said it would be handled. An email was sent out to all the local courthouses to be on alert for any type of anti-Semitism that might be going on around them, Young said.

Around 4 p.m., Young walked out of the association building to see if the symbol had been covered but a valet worker told him there was another symbol down the street in front of the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center. Young was able to snap a picture of it before it was covered also.

“When you see [swastikas] by an institution that is supposed to represent everything our country is known for freedom, democracy, people’s rights, presumption of innocence, the core of the basic things that make America great — our courts — and to see hate there it just turns my stomach,” Young said.

When hate crimes occur, the federation usually informs their network of 165 Jewish institutions, but this time they are waiting for police to get further into their investigation, Viegas said.

It has become common place to see heavily armed security guards at synagogues and other places where Jewish people congregate due to recent hate crimes and a series of suspected antisemitic attacks. In the past 16 months, three synagogues around the country, including one in Miami-Dade, have been attacked which killed a dozen people.

Former Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez told the Herald in December that county police have ramped up patrols at synagogues and other Jewish gathering spots. Detectives are also working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“If we don’t make a stand, if we remain silent the bad guys win. The only way we’re going to make change in this world is to be out there, be outspoken and to be present,” Young said.