BY EMILY DAVENPORT | A video of a man spray-painting over swastikas the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge surfaced on Twitter Monday and several users are questioning the intentions of his actions.
The video, released by NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) on Sept. 23, shows an unidentified man pulled over on the bridge by a highway divider and spray painting yellow lines across what the tweet identifies as a blue swastika before driving ahead on the bridge.
The person filming his actions, who was in the car behind him, pulls forward to show yellow lines through the alleged swastika and through a Hindu Om symbol.
WATCH THIS: Man captured on video spray painting what appears to be yellow lines through blue #Swastikas on the #Queens Boro (59th Street) Bridge in broad daylight. He is driving what appears to be an #Uber. He appears to be holding two spray-paint cans. pic.twitter.com/RlmDZzLqgq
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) September 23, 2019
It is not immediately clear when the spray painting took place. According to the tweet, the man with the paint appears to be an Uber driver and may have been holding two cans of spray paint. It is also unclear if he made the initial spray painting.
The NYPD is aware of the video and is investigating the situation.
“There is no place for hate or intolerance in New York City, or anywhere,” a spokesperson from the NYPD told QNS. “The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is aware of this incident and is investigating it.”
The tweet received widespread attention on the social media platform, with many users saying that the graffiti artist was a hero for covering up the alleged hate symbols.
“He’s putting a line through them. Good for him. Maybe the city should fix it and save him some time/money?” wrote Twitter user @Andy_Williams16.
Twitter user @therealmahesh07 agreed.
“He’s still a hero, he thought it was a swastika but it was the Hindu Om and Hindu Swastika.”
However, many criticized the artist for painting over Hinduism symbols.
Lol you guys don’t realize this is a protest against the arrival of Modi? It’s a Sanskrit ohm and the Hindu swastika ♀️
— Savannah Rose (@savvyenpointe) September 23, 2019
“I’m sorry, one of those is an Om so no… he’s not a hero… not if you ask a Hindu like myself,” wrote Twitter user @NeelaSRivera.
Others questioned as to whether the act was connected to the visit of Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India.
“For those who don’t know the other symbol is Sanskrit ohm a sacred symbol to Hinduism, as is the swastika. Mans is doing some anti-hindutva tagging coinciding with Modi, the butcher of Gujarat, visiting the city.” said Twitter user @YUNG_MIZOGUCCI.
Despite the debate, one Twitter user pointed out that maybe the driver shouldn’t have added to the graffiti on the bridge in the first place.
“To everyone saying “he’s a hero”.. or “that’s a Hindu symbol”…. don’t do graffiti on public structures! Who cares what your intention is?” said Twitter user @alissa914.