Headstones at Brooklyn Jewish cemetery damaged, not vandalism, NYPD says | amNewYork

Headstones at Brooklyn Jewish cemetery damaged, not vandalism, NYPD says

Damage to headstones at Washington Cemetery, a predominantly Jewish burial ground in Brooklyn, was not the result of a crime, an NYPD spokesman said on Sunday.

The overturned stones were due to either long-term neglect or environmental factors, the spokesman said. The investigation is no longer ongoing.

The damage, which was reported Saturday night, follows acts of vandalism in Philadelphia and St. Louis. It also comes a day after federal officials arrested Juan Thompson, 31, a former journalist from St. Louis, with making threats to multiple Jewish community centers around the country in a plot to harass an ex-girlfriend.

Assemb. Dov Hikind, who represents the Borough Park neighborhood that is home to both the cemetery and one of New York City’s largest Orthodox Jewish populations, posted photographs of the damage on his Twitter and Facebook page Saturday night. He wrote that he’d been alerted to the damage by the Boro Park Shomrim, a private Jewish security patrol.

“I’ve spoken with the police who are investigating,” Hikind wrote on Facebook. “They’ve found a cut in the cemetery fence and are taking the matter very seriously.” 

Last month, after threats to JCCs and damage to about 170 tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Trump condemned anti-Semitic attacks — something many had been calling for him to do for weeks as reports of such incidents had increased.  

With Dana Reszutek

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