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Swastika, anti-Semitic graffiti found in Brooklyn Tech stairwell, NYPD says

A swastika and graffiti calling for the killing of Jews was found scrawled in a stairwell of the elite Brooklyn Technical High School, according to the NYPD — the latest reported anti-Semitic crime in a city that has seen an uptick of such incidents.

NYPD spokesman Det. Brian Magoolaghan said a 43-year-old school employee found the graffiti, written in black marker, on Thursday at 5:12 p.m. in a third-floor stairwell.

There has not been an arrest in the case, which is being investigated as criminal mischief by the NYPD's hate crimes task force and the 88th Precinct.

Brooklyn Tech, in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood, has a focus on math, science, technology and computers. It's one of the city's most prestigious high schools. About 30,000 take the admission test each year for Tech and seven other specialized high schools. Only a few hundred are admitted on average to each. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the city is experiencing an "anti-Semitism crisis."

In December, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said there had been a 22% increase in anti-Semitic crimes reported in 2019. Most crimes were vandalism such as swastika graffiti, but there has also been violence against Jewish people. 

Most of the violence has been in neighborhoods where ultra-Orthodox Jews live, including Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Borough Park. Jews have been hit, spat at, punched and slapped, and a woman has had her wig ripped off her head, according to the NYPD.

Elsewhere in the metro area, a man burst into a Rockland County rabbi's home and used a machete to stab five people celebrating the penultimate night of Hanukkah, according to court papers charging him with federal crimes. He was arrested in Harlem shortly after the attack.

There was also a deadly shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City last month. Five people, including the two suspects, were killed. A police officer also was killed in a confrontation with the suspects shortly before the supermarket attack.

 Legislation by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and State Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove), whose proposed law concludes that the spike in hate crimes is “highly disturbing and a societal epidemic in need of remedy,” would mandate that the curriculum for schoolchildren in grades 6 through 12 “includes a component on the meaning of the swastika as the emblem of Nazi Germany, as well as the noose as a symbol of racism and intimidation.”

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