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Madison, Wisconsin police deal with “anti-Semitic and racist graffiti”

This news story was published on March 7, 2015.
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investigateMADISON, WISCONSIN – Police in the capitol city of Wisconsin are seeking clues in what they call “anti-Semitic and racist graffiti” that has been left in their city.

The Madison Police Department (MPD) is investigating a string of property crimes in the West District that included anti-Semitic and racist graffiti. Detectives are seeking to identify those responsible for 25 separate cases that they say were left in mid-February. Some included derogatory language or pictures of genitals being spray painted on vehicles and homes. Car windows and mail boxes were also broken, and some houses were hit with paint balls. Most damage was reported early Saturday morning, west of Gammon Road, east of High Point Road, and north of Mineral Point Road.

The MPD said it considers the incidents “hateful, abhorrent, disturbing and vile. MPD Officers share in the community’s outrage.”

At this point in the investigation(s), there has not been a definitive link to indicate that the various victims were intentionally targeted on the basis of their race or religion; a key element that is needed in order to invoke the “hate crimes” penalty enhancer under Wisconsin state law. However, as the situation is fluid, should such a nexus be established, the MPD will certainly recommend the District Attorney use the hate crime penalty enhancer as a charging tool should circumstances so dictate.

No arrests have been made at this point, and the MPD is seeking any assistance the public may be able to offer.

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