Brooklyn, NY - A dozen mezuzahs were burned in a Williamsburg apartment building this afternoon in a "possible" anti-Semitic hate crime on Holocaust Remembrance Day, police said.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit was investigating after 10 to 12 mezuzahs were discovered burned at 85 Taylor St., in the Taylor-Wythe Houses, on Monday at about 4:45 p.m., police said.
The fire was limited to the mezuzas according to Williamsburg Shomrim coordinator Yanky Itzkowitz. “The doors and the frames are both metal so they didn’t catch fire,” Itzkowitz told VIN News. Itzkowitz estimated the building to be eighteen floors high.
here are the comments of different politicians commenting on this travesty.
“Nothing but hatred can explain why someone would burn mezuzahs on Yom Hashoah, the day we remember the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. This is a sickening act of prejudice that strikes at the very core of who we are as a city. Make no mistake: we will find those responsible. I thank the NYPD Hate Crimes Taskforce and Deputy Inspector Mark DiPaolo of the 90th Precinct for their quick response and ongoing investigation.
|cleans up a melted Mezuzah|
To date only one mezuza burning has been reported today, this one at an apartment on the thirteenth floor of 130 Clymer Street, which is also located in the Taylor Wythe housing project. Today’s attack follows on the heels of a press conference this afternoon where several elected officials, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Councilman Stephen Levin, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Congressman Nydia Vasquez and State Senator Daniel Squadron all condemned yesterday’s attack as a hate crime, as previously reported on VIN News.
“So far the police have not identified any suspects and are knocking on doors looking for any information,” Itzkowitz told VIN News. “They are doing whatever they can to apprehend the perpetrators.”
Both buildings where the attacks took place have surveillance cameras and according to reports on Metro.us, one camera recorded footage of a dark skinned male approximately thirty years old and carrying a Razor scooter, who appeared to be lighting a match in the elevator. Cameras showed the man leaving the building via a stairwell approximately twenty minutes later.
New York City Comptroller John C. Liu issued the following statement in response to today’s incident.
“For the second day in a row, a hate crime has targeted Williamsburg,” Comptroller John C. Liu said. “This outrageous vandalism of Jewish homes cannot be tolerated and deserves swift justice.”
Council Member Stephen Levin said “This brazen attack of religious desecration occurs on a day important not only to the Jewish community, but to everyone who has read a history book, If we have learned anything it is that acts of hate cannot be tolerated. That is why elected leaders and members of the community are joining together to send a message that Williamsburg will not tolerate hate; Brooklyn will not tolerate hate; and New York City will not tolerate hate.”
“I am outraged by reports that nearly one dozen mazuzahs were desecrated this afternoon in a residential Brooklyn building,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “This heinous and cowardly act comes on the day we vow to never forget the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. As I have said too many times before, hate crimes must not and will not be tolerated in the most diverse City in the world.”
Rabbi Niederman of United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg (UJO) said, “This was not only a crime against the individuals whose religious property was destroyed, but this was a biased crime designed to incite racial and religious division. This was a crime against the entire community.”
Mayoral candidate Erick Salgado in released statement said "My heartfelt thoughts go out to my neighbors in Williamsburg who were traumatized by this cowardly, hateful act."
He further added "I will be very public in urging our District Attorneys to seek the maximum penalties and for judges to hand down tough sentences for these types of crimes. New York City’s strength comes from the diversity of its many communities. We have to honor, celebrate and protect that diversity."
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s tips hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.