Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Salt Lake City Elementary School Vandalized with Antisemitic Graffiti

Update February 5, 2024: Salt Lake police say they have identified two teenage boys as being responsible for the graffiti. But whether the boys’ actions were motivated by hate, or rise to the level of a hate crime, is still being investigated. Police say the cases against both boys are expected to be referred to 3rd District Juvenile Court for potential charges; more here.

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Police are investigating criminal mischief and a possible hate crime at a Salt Lake City elementary school.

Investigators with the Salt Lake City Police Department believe that around 7:15 p.m. Saturday night, someone or multiple people spray-painted every side of Bonneville Elementary School with various kinds of hate speech and images.

“The type of hate speech that was used ranges everything from homophobic, antisemitic hate speech, as well as racist hate speech,” said SLCPD spokesman Brent Weisberg.

There was also hate speech directed toward people with physical disabilities.

Weisberg said the police department has seen a recent uptick in possible hate crimes. Investigators are not sure if it’s all connected.

“A few weeks ago, we had someone spray-painting hate speech at the Utah Pride Center. We also had someone stealing Pride flags from the Ballpark neighborhood. Then we had that hate crime directed potentially at that Asian-owned business downtown,” he explained.

Parents, students, and neighbors of the school joined together all day Sunday to scrub off the vandalism and decorate the front of the school with colorful ribbons.

“This is a very peaceful neighborhood. People have a lot of respect and kindness for each other,” said Janet Hemming, chair of the Yalecrest Neighborhood Council.

There are only three days left until the holiday break, but the community wanted to affirm a message of inclusivity.

“We have people putting up ribbons just for love. To celebrate the love that we have in our community and the love that we have for other people,” said Lindsay Monson, a parent at Bonneville Elementary.

“[The hate speech is] just uncharacteristic of the neighborhood. That’s not who this neighborhood is,” said Hemming.

What the neighborhood is, they say, is a community choosing to combat hate with love.

“That’s the only way to stop it, really,” said Monson. “Hate with hate begets more hate.”

The Salt Lake School District is working with the department on the investigation. There are security cameras on the building, but detectives are asking anyone who lives nearby to review their home security footage as well.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Salt Lake City Police Department at 801-799-3000 and reference case number 23-282047.

Source: https://www.fox13now.com/news/crime/salt-lake-city-police-investigating-hate-speech-vandalism-at-elementary-school