UCPD Looking Into Newest Case of Hate-Related Graffiti
Friday, September 26, 2008
Category: News > City > Crime
Campus police are investigating the latest incident in a series of hate-related vandalism reported yesterday.
UCPD Sgt. Eric Tejada said that graffiti described as "anti-Israel" was reported Wednesday on the Star of David Bridge, located near the heating plant in the western portion of campus. It had been removed by Thursday afternoon.
This incident marks the fourth case of bias-related crime reported to UCPD this year. Anti-Palestinian graffiti appeared on the walls of a Dwinelle Hall classroom last week and was cleaned up on Tuesday.
Tejada said UCPD is investigating whether the incidents are related.
"As with any graffiti, we're looking for those responsible," he said. "The investigation is ongoing."
Last Wednesday, a poster promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace on a bus stop outside Eshleman Hall was vandalized with anti-Semitic marks and symbols. The Berkeley Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Berkeley police Officer Andrew Frankel said it is difficult to track down suspects because there were no witnesses.
"There's really not a whole lot more that we can do in terms of investigative work," he said.
During the time that the graffiti was visible in the Dwinelle Hall classroom, students said that it did not prevent them from carrying on with class.
"It definitely distracted me; I think it could have been a distraction to individuals," said senior Vida Yao, who attends a philosophy lecture there. "But class went on as usual."
Others said that while the vandalism was noticeable, they did not understand the message behind it.
"I thought it was confusing," said sophomore Becky Elfes-Terjung. "I didn't really know what it meant."
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Israel Action Committee have denounced the instances of graffiti that appeared last week. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued a campus-wide statement on Monday condemning the graffiti at the bus stop.
Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard said he hoped the incidents would make students more conscious of preventing incidents of hateful speech.
"I think it's a reminder to all of us that we must be vigilant to create a safe space," he said. "I think something good will come out of this."
Contact Valerie Woolard at [email protected]
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