February 8, 2017 Police confirm that a man arrested for vandalizing a Chicago Loop Synagogue early Saturday morning has been charged with a hate crime.
Stuart Wright, 31, was taken into custody on Tuesday morning when Chicago Police officers saw him exiting a residence in the 2100 block of S. Loomis St. in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood, police said in a press release. Wright is charged with one count of committing a hate crime at a church or synagogue, and one count of criminal damage between $300 and $1000 – both felonies.
The American Jewish Committee condemned the attack, saying there has been an uptick of Antisemitism incidents across the country.
Hate graffiti of swastikas and pro-Donald Trump slogans have been reported in New York City and the word “TRUMP” accompanied a swastika symbol drawn with a dark colored chalk at a Texas University.
There have been several recent hate crimes in Chicago, including in December when a militant Neo-Nazi group hung a poster of Adolf Hitler surrounded by swastikas on the University of Chicago campus. Chicago Police say swastikas and other racist derogatory remarks and symbols have been reported on property across Chicago.
DNAinfo obtained a police report of another incident in which a group of teenagers broke into now-vacant St. Cornelius School in the Jefferson Park community and spray-painted racist and anti-Semitic graffiti and posted it all on Snapchat.
An all faith event titled “Love Thy Neighbor: An Interfaith Gathering Against Hate” was held at the Chicago Loop Synagogue on Wednesday afternoon. Jewish, Muslim, and Christian and community leaders gathered to send a message that hate will not be tolerated. The American Jewish Committee, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago all denounced Saturday’s incident.