Police are investigating a hate crime in Spokane, Washington after painted swastikas were discovered painted on a synagogue in the city’s South Hill district.
Spokane police spokesman John O’Brien said the antisemitic vandalism was registered at 9:20 a.m. at Temple Beth Shalom on Wednesday morning. When the officers arrived at the site, they found one side of it vandalized, along with the Holocaust memorial. O’Brien said the officers spoke to the staff, scanned the area for surveillance cameras, and checked for evidence. They also gathered samples of paint from the building for evidence.
The synagogue’s security camera system captured pictures of a single white male suspect. O’Brien said the man was wearing blue jeans, black boots, a dark-colored hooded jacket, a dark beanie-style hat, black gloves, a red mask, and sunglasses on his head.
The vandalism is being investigated by police as malicious abuse and it comes under the description of a hate crime by Washington.
“Our community is in shock and in grief, and trying to be strong,” said Rabbi Tamar Malino of Temple Beth Shalom told reporters. “It’s very difficult to know that there are people that hate you that much for being Jewish and have the intention of expressing that.”