News: Beach Jewish Community Shocked and Angered By Hate Graffiti

Local residents are stunned by what Miami Beach Police are calling a Hate Crime, when Four locations were tagged with ant-Semitic messages.

The Scott Rakow Youth Center sign was painted with a KKK tag in red and several buses were also spray-painted with “KKK.” The side wall of the Bessie D. Galbut women’s prayer center, on Pine Tree Drive was also spray-painted with “KKK.” A homeless outreach center at 555 25 St. was also tagged and a bull’s-eye was spray-painted on the front door of a condominium on 28th Street and Sheridan Avenue. All buildings were within a 4-block radius of each other.

Beach City workers immediately covered or cleaned up the messages.

It was terrible,” Miami Beach Parks and Recreation spokesman Julio Magrisso told NBC6. “The best thing we did is we moved real quickly, we removed it and they won’t see it. As we drive around with the buses and we pick up the children this afternoon, it’s already picked up.”

“They cleaned it as soon as it went up, which is just a message to our community that we do not tolerate this type of message. We do not tolerate this kind of hate in this community,” Miami Beach police Detective Vivian Hernandez told the Miami Herald. “And to the individuals who did this: Yes, it is a felony and it’s a hate crime enhancement.”

Hernandez said that the Miami Beach police were investigating by looking at surveillance cameras among other things. “We’re currently investigating to see who did this and who’s responsible,” said Hernandez. “We believe that it may be one or two people together,”

Authorities say these are felonious crimes that the city takes very seriously. “Signs like these inflict hate, and we don’t want our community to feel offended,” said Hernandez.

Too late. Local residents were shocked, surprised and angry.

“I live a few blocks from the Rakow Center. My kids go there to skate. I hate to think how they would feel if they saw this nonsense.” said Sabrina Cohen. “Why does such evil and hate invade Miami Beach. I am furious.”

Another resident echoed her anger, stating that vandalism like this is vicious and small minded. “To me it is petty viscousness. Something bored kids would do.” said Sidney Abromowitz who is in Miami for Art Basel. “Nice way to welcome visitors. Leave the tagging to the real artists. This is just stupidity and ignorance.”

If you have any information on these crimes, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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