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Swastikas found at Queens school, Cuomo orders State Police hate crimes task force to investigate

2019-02-24

Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols, as well as the term “Heil Hitler,” were discovered in the schoolyard of PS 139 in Queens. (Courtesy, NYC Jewish Caucus ?)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered State Police to help find the vandals who scrawled dozens of Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols and “Heil Hitler” in a Queens schoolyard.

The Nazi symbols and slogan were discovered on Friday at Public School 139 by a school custodian who reported it to the NYPD, Education Department officials said.

"I am appalled and disgusted by the Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols of hate that were scrawled in a Queens schoolyard,” Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.

"In New York, we have zero tolerance for such vile acts of anti-Semitism. I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to immediately assist the NYPD in the investigation of this hideous act and hold those accountable to the full extent of the law.”

Photos show a number of the offensive symbols in a concrete athletic field at the Rego Park school along with the words “Heil Hitler.”

Swastikas and Nazi symbols, as well as the term “Heil Hitler” were discovered drawn all over elementary school PS 139 playground in Queens today.
Swastikas and Nazi symbols, as well as the term “Heil Hitler” were discovered drawn all over elementary school PS 139 playground in Queens today. (Courtesy, NYC Jewish Caucus ?)

School was out for a winter break and students will return on Monday. The markings were removed on Friday.

City Councilman Chaim Deustch, who chairs the Council’s Jewish Caucus, said the incident raises the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city to nearly 50 since the start of the year.

“This has gotten completely out of hand” said Deustch (D-Brooklyn). “I urge Mayor de Blasio to immediately implement mine and Councilmember Mark Levine’s bills that recently passed in the City Council, which would require educational outreach to teach about the impact of hate, bias, and anti-Semitism.”

Police sources said cops were alerted to the graffiti on Friday afternoon and the city’s Hate Crime Task Force was notified.

Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said school officials are cooperating in the investigation.

With Rocco Parascandola