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Cuomo Calls on State Hate Crimes Unit to Investigate Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found at Rego Park School

Swastikas at P.S. 139 in Rego Park (Photo: Karen Koslowitz)

Feb. 24, 2019 By Christian Murray

Governor Andrew Cuomo has called on the New York state hate crimes task force to help find those responsible for anti-Semitic graffiti found on a Rego Park school playground on Friday.

“I am appalled and disgusted by the Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols of hate that were scrawled in a Queens schoolyard,” Cuomo said in a statement Sunday.

“In New York, we have zero tolerance for such vile acts of anti-Semitism. I am directing the New York State Hate Crimes Task Fore to immediately assist the NYPD in the investigation of this hideous act and hold those accountable to the full extent of the law.”

The announcement follows the discovery of dozens of swastikas and messages such as “Heil Hitler (sic)” scribbled in chalk over the school yard at P.S. 139, located at 93-06 63rd Dr.

Karen Koslowitz brought the alarming incident to the public’s attention on Friday shortly after she visited the school.

“I am horrified, disgusted and nauseated, to say the least, of what I have witnessed today,” Koslowitz posted to social media, adding that the NYPD is investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.

The imagery has since been washed off.

Students were off school for midwinter recess but the playground was open to the public.

The drawings were discovered by the school’s custodian, according to reports.

There has been a significant increase in the number of anti-Semitic bias crimes in New York City this year. There have been 36 anti-Semitic crimes reported in the city for the year through Feb. 17, compared to 21 for the same period a year ago, according to a New York Times report.

“New Yorkers stand with the Jewish community against anti-Semitism in all its forms, especially in the wake of the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in our nation’s history.” Cuomo said, referring to the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October.

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