A string of hateful graffiti incidents directed at Asian New Yorkers was discovered in Bensonhurst over the weekend, and Brooklyn elected officials have vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The messages were found on the exteriors of two Asian-owned businesses and on the elevated train column facing another, according to police. The same message, which appears to have been spray painted with a stencil, has been reported at at least three other locations, according to Borough President Eric Adams’ office.
Adams joined City Councilman Mark Treyger, longtime residents and business leaders Monday on 86th Street outside one of the vandalized stores to decry the vile acts.
“Someone took the time to shape their racist thought,” he said.
Stephanie Wong, executive director of the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn, has lived in the neighborhood for 35 years and said she has never seen a crime like this. Wong said she and her neighbors feel scared and threatened, especially in light of the rise in anti-immigration sentiment reported across the country.
“This isn’t funny, this is hate,” she said.
Treyger agreed, and joined Adams’ call for the NYPD to classify the graffiti attack as a hate crime. The councilman said Bensonhurst has always welcomed residents from across the world, and that these graffiti incidents would not deter the community’s inclusivity.
“This is one of the sickest hate crimes that we in the neighborhood have experienced in recent memory,” he said.
An NYPD spokeswoman said Monday afternoon that its hate crimes task force is investigating three reported graffiti attacks as a “possible biased incident.”
In the mean time, Adams said his office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, and urged anyone with information or video footage of the crime to come forward.
“This wasn’t an accident, this wasn’t a child writing on a wall,” he said. “No, this was a premeditated action and we won’t stand for it.”