He wore a blue skull cap, dark glasses, and had a cigarette dangling from his mouth as he left a message of anti-Semitism on the door of a Brookline synagogue, pausing briefly to admire his hate before sauntering off into the darkness of night.
Brookline police and the Anti-Defamation League of New England are searching for the identity of the burly man dressed all in dark clothing who defaced the door of the Chabad Center on Harvard Street around 2 a.m Sunday. Police have posted a surveillance camera video of the incident that took place on the brightly lit front porch of the synagogue.
Wearing sneakers and a backpack, the man apparently brought a white pen with him. After he finishes defacing the door, he is seen putting a cap back on the pen and putting it into a pocket. He then starts walking off the porch, but pauses at the top, turns half-way around so he can face the door, and stands there for about six seconds looking directly at the spot where he scrawled the hate message, the video shows.
496 Harvard Street- 4/5/2020 01:43 Hrs
BROOKLINE POLICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS PUBLIC'S HELP IN IDENTIFYING MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR ANTI-SEMITIC GRAFFITI. $1,000 REWARD OFFERED BY ADL-NEW ENGLAND The Brookline Police Department and the Anti-Defamation League of New England are asking for the public’s help to identify the man in the attached video. Overview: On April 5, 2020 at approximately 0142 Hours, the man pictured here approached the front door of the Chabad Center of Brookline (496 Harvard Street) and defaced the property with anti-Semitic graffiti, written in Russian. A symbol was drawn above the words which closely resembled a swastika. It is believed that the man approached the Center from the direction of Coolidge Corner and left towards Commonwealth Avenue. The Brookline Police Department is investigating this incident as a hate crime. The Anti-Defamation League of New England was notified of this incident and is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identification and prosecution of the person responsible. "This antisemitic act represents a direct threat to the Jewish community and is a reminder that hate never rests, even in a pandemic. We are grateful to Brookline Police who remain on the frontlines, sacrificing themselves to keep us safe." -Robert Trestan, ADL New England Regional Director. Anyone with information regarding this individual is asked to call the Brookline Police Department at (617) 730-2222 or Detective Brendan Kelliher at (617) 730-2791 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and reference Brookline Police Case #2020-1523Posted by Brookline MA Police Department on Monday, April 6, 2020
The man “defaced the property with anti-Semitic graffiti, written in Russian,” police wrote in a posting on Facebook. “A symbol was drawn above the words which closely resembled a swastika.”
The ADL has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the man.
Police said they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“It is believed that the man approached the Center from the direction of Coolidge Corner and left towards Commonwealth Avenue,” police wrote.
Robert Trestan, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England, tweeted about the hate crime Tuesday.
Last May, arsonist or arsonists struck the Chabad Center for Jewish Life Arlington-Belmont in Arlington and the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham about one hour later, state investigators said. No arrests have been made in that case.
The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement denouncing the hate crime against the Jewish house of worship.
“Massachusetts Muslims stand in solidarity with the Jewish community in Brookline and across the state,” said John Robbins, executive director of CAIR-MA. “We’re appalled by this act of bigotry. An attack against one of us is an attack against all.”
Robbins noted in his statement that vandals also vandalized gravestones at a Bedford with anti-Semitic graffiti.