Anti-Semitic, racist graffiti in Rockaway, Queens, prompts Hate Crimes Task Force involvement

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the anti-Semitic graffiti "disgusting" and "illegal."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the anti-Semitic graffiti "disgusting" and "illegal." Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he is directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to help investigate racist and anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on the walls of a beach club in Queens.

A red swastika, the words “gas chamber” and “Heil Hitler” along with racial slurs aimed at black people were found on the walls of a playground at the Silver Gull Beach Club in Rockaway, according to a report in The New York Times.

Cuomo said in a statement that he was “disgusted” by the graffiti and called on lawmakers across the state to denounce “continued acts of hatred and attempts to intimidate and terrorize.”

The latest incident comes amid a rise in hate crimes across the city. Last week, a Jewish man wearing religious clothing was brutally attacked, including being hit with a rock. Earlier in August, four men were arrested in connection with assaults and robberies that targeted Jewish men in Williamsburg.

“We must also call these vile acts what they are — they are hate crimes and they are illegal,” Cuomo said.

The state Hate Crimes Task Force will assist the U.S Park Police’s investigation of the incident, according to the governor. The Silver Gull is located in the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area.

City Councilman Eric Ulrich and Donovan Richards, who both represent parts of the Rockaway peninsula, condemned the Silver Gull graffiti on social media.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in Rockaway,” Richards tweeted on Monday.

In a tweet, Ulrich called it “absolutely disgusting and unacceptable.”