Denver, CO, May 3, 2017…The Anti-Defamation League, responding to reports of vandalism of six cars that had swastikas and “KKK” scratched into them, condemned the incident and applauded law enforcement for investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. The cars were all parked across the street from the Merage & Allon Hillel Center at the University of Denver.
The vandalism took place overnight from May 1-2 in close proximity to the Hillel building, which is located near the University of Denver campus. Hillel is a national organization that serves Jewish students on campus.
The Denver Police Department is investigating the incident as a potential bias-motivated crime.
Scott L. Levin, ADL Mountain States Regional Director, issued the following statement:
The Anti-Defamation League is disturbed to learn that vehicles were damaged with hate symbols and racially-charged vandalism in close proximity to the Hillel building, a Jewish student community center.
This incident concerns us because we are seeing an increased number of bias-motivated incidents, including acts of anti-Semitism, in Colorado and across the country. We commend the Denver Police Department for investigating whether this was a hate crime.
Last week, ADL released its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents that showed the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in Colorado more than doubled in 2016 from the previous year. ADL recorded 45 incidents in Colorado in 2016 compared to 18 incidents in 2015. In addition, there has been a marked increase in the harassment of Jewish individuals and vandalism of Jewish institutions in the last six months with 15 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in just the first quarter of 2017, including two bomb threats received by the Boulder Jewish Community Center earlier this year.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.