Wednesday, June 10, 2009
$7,500 dollar reward offered for information on hate crimes.
AJC by Alexis Stevens
Days after swastikas were painted on three homes, the police chiefs in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody made one thing clear: they aren’t going to tolerate it.
“This is not just toilet-papering a house,” said Sandy Springs Chief Terry Sult. “We’re investigating this as a hate crime.”
Three incidences within a 24-hour period is extraordinary, according to Bill Nigut, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League. A rabbi of one of the families whose house was vandalized contacted Nigut after the Saturday night incidents.
The two police departments and the ADL have each offered $2,500 rewards, for a total of $7,500, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the vandalization.
Georgia is one of five states that doesn’t have laws against hate crimes, Nigut said. If and when those responsible are caught, they will face vandalism charges, but that’s not enough, he said. (Do we need a hate crime ordinance in Dunwoody for higher fines than just the $655.00 fine for vandalism? see top of page 20).
“When it comes to anti-Semitism and hatred like this, there’s no such thing as a fun prank,” Nigut said after a press conference Wednesday. “These families feel vulnerable and exposed.”
The painted swastikas are minor compared to Wednesday’s shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum involving an elderly man suspected of being a white supremacist.
“Obviously, there’s no connection,” Nigut said. “But emotionally, this is the sort of thing that leads many Jewish people to feel that we are the object of hatred.”