TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) – Ithaca police have arrested an unidentified person in connection with a series of anti-Semitic and white supremacist incidents around the city that occurred between Oct. 20 and Oct. 26. Police indicated the person faces multiple charges that include hate crimes.
The FBI define a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
The first incident was the defacing of an “End White Silence” sign outside a local business. It was covered over with an anti-Semitic slur. Further anti-Semitic and white supremacist vandalism were reported against other local businesses.
Spray paint of a circle with a cross was found on one business and in other places around the city. The Anti-Defamation League identifies it as a symbol used by various white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, among them the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and American Front.
A man who identified himself as a member of the Proud Boys was seen wearing a similar symbol on his jacket during the Back the Blue rally in Ithaca on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Police are calling the attacks hate crimes that specifically target the owners because of their faith. They also received reports of posters and graffiti in public places around the city.
Mayor Svante Myrick also revealed on social media that he was the subject of one such incident.
A recent spate of anti-semitic and anti-black graffiti has appeared around Ithaca.
The vandal has targeted my office, homes and offices of Jewish Ithacans, and some seemingly random locations.
— Mayor Svante Myrick (@SvanteMyrick) October 27, 2020
In a statement, police stated they found “very alarming evidence” of hate posters and explosive materials at the suspect’s residence, including fuse wire, a timer and an undisclosed amount of a powdered chemical. Rifle parts were also found at another location.
The Ithaca Police indicated that the investigation is ongoing and the person will remain in custody.