Uptick in Hate Crimes Across Chicago

February 8, 2017 A man arrested for vandalizing a Chicago Loop Synagogue early Saturday morning has been charged with a felony hate crime. The American Jewish Committee condemned the attack, saying there has been an uptick of Antisemitism incidents across the country.

The suspect, identified as 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. Surveillance video of the attack on the Chicago Loop Synagogue, located at 16 S Clark Street in Chicago shows a man smashing a front window and placed swastika stickers on the building.

DNAinfo has obtained a police report of another incident on January 27, in which a group of teenagers broke into now-vacant St. Cornelius Catholic School in the Jefferson Park neighborhood and spray-painted racist and anti-Semitic graffiti and posted it all on Snapchat. The Chicago Police Hate Crimes Unit was notified of the break-in, according to the police report. A Chicago Police spokesperson said pm Wednesday that an investigation is underway. There have been no arrests in the incident.

In December, a militant Neo-Nazi group claimed responsibility for a poster of Adolf Hitler surrounded by swastikas found on the University of Chicago campus. Chicago Police say swastikas and other racist derogatory remarks and symbols have been reported on both public and private property across Chicago. Racist remarks and symbols, including graffiti of swastikas and pro-Donald Trump slogans have been reported in New York City and a Texas University.

More than a thousand people of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths and community leaders gathered at the Chicago Loop Synagogue on Wednesday afternoon for an all faith event. Speakers from the American Jewish Committee, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago all denounced Saturday’s hate crime.

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