Someone Spray-Painted A Swastika On A Car In Hancock Park
Neighbors in L.A.'s Hancock Park neighborhood were horrified when they discovered a swastika spray-painted on an SUV Friday. With its large Orthodox population, Hancock Park is one of the more visibly Jewish communities in the city.
NBC 4 reports that the anti-semitic graffiti was discovered around 6 a.m. Friday morning, as neighbors gathered around the parked car. The owner of the SVU, who is not Jewish, told NBC 4 that he didn't believe the vandalism was specifically directed towards him.
Alison Graham, another neighbor, told NBC 4 that she believed the SUV was picked, "not because it could be owned by a Jewish person, but because it was the largest car parked out on the street—a billboard, almost."
"Living in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, it's scary," she said.
Although there are no exact figures on the size of the Orthodox Jewish community in Hancock Park, a 2007 L.A. Times article reported that "estimates have ranged from 20% by the Jewish Journal to 50% by some real estate agents."
The LAPD filed a report on the incident and are viewing it as a hate crime, according to NBC 4.
"With the nature of hate crimes, the victim is more than just the person whose property was defaced, it's the whole neighborhood," Matthew Friedman, associate regional director of the Anti-Defamation League told LAist.
"Because this is a known Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, the swastika to us would indicate a connection between the crime and the community, as opposed to it just being painted in a random alley," Friedman said.
Among the legion of terrible things spurred by Donald Trump's rise, there have been growing charges of anti-semitism around the country. Fans of The Donald have spewed hate at Jewish journalists on Twitter, and, more recently, created a creepy Google Chrome extension to track Jews online.
"We are definitely very concerned with the political climate in this country, in particular the rhetoric coming out of some and the campaigns, and the rhetoric coming from the supporters of some candidates," Friedman said, while also noting that his organization doesn't take positions on specific candidates because they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.