Swastikas found spray-painted on Schenectady home

February 10, 2017 06:41 PM

Schenectady police are looking for the person or individuals who spray-painted a home with swastikas. Police say whoever is responsible could be charged with a hate crime.

NewsChannel 13’s Nia Hamm spoke to the homeowner of the house on Chiswell Road. He says he was coming outside to shovel the snow around noon Friday when he saw the swastikas and was shocked.

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Andrew King, 54, has lived in the home for 40 years. He says this is the first time in his life that he has been the target of what he believes could be religious discrimination.

King says he did report the incident to police and they are investigating.

The vandalism comes just before King observes the Sabbath, which lasts 25 hours. During that time, no work is allowed to be done so he cannot remove the swastikas for at least the next day or so. However, King says he's considering leaving them up longer to show people what is happening in this community and hopefully spur a conversation about tolerance.

"I was horrified. I thought to myself who the heck could do something crazy like this? To think of this we are so far removed from the end of World War II, but this mentality still exists in some people’s minds," noted King. "We all need to get along well. We need to be tolerant to one another. We need to be more accepting."

King says police tell him the vandalism could have occurred between 10 p.m. Thursday night and 6 a.m. Friday morning. Again, whoever is responsible could be charged with a hate crime.

If a new study on Twitter use is any indication, White Nationalist groups and neo-Nazi groups are on the rise. The study from George Washington University's program on extremism analyzed 18 accounts belonging to major White Nationalist groups and organizations. The accounts saw a huge increase in followers from about 3,500 in 2012 to 22,000 in 2016. The growth outpaces that seen by ISIS.


WNYT Staff

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