People in a West Seattle neighborhood are shaken up after someone spray painted anti-Semitic messages on a house, and in an alley.
The woman whose home was spray painted with the word "Jew" on it is so frightened she didn't want to talk on camera, and doesn't want us to show you her home.
“It was very scary. I never thought this would happen in our neighborhood in Seattle - using graffiti to create anti-Semitic remarks,” said Shoshanna Cohen.
In bright red letters, someone spray painted the word "Jew" on a garage.
The homeowner didn’t want us to share the street where the crime happened. She said she was hurt and took it personally. She hopes people will educate their children to have more compassion.
The homeowner was too frightened to be interviewed – and didn’t want us to share the street where the crime happened. But her neighbor, also shaken up, agreed to talk with us if we didn't identify her.
“It’s shocking and awful,” the neighbor said. Her husband is half Jewish.
She saw another message painted in the alley near her house.
It read “F--- JEW THIEVE.”
“I got really nervous,” she said.
Neighbors across the street, the Cohens, are another Jewish family.
“Do you consider what happened a hate crime?” KIRO7’s Deedee Sun asked.
“Yes. Absolutely,” Shoshanna Cohen said.
“I think it was a mixture of surprise and being a little scared, because I'm affected by it as well, by the kind of messaging that's anti-Semitic,” Joshua Cohen said.
Some say it seems like that type of messaging is happening all too often.
“You hear about it more and more. I feel like this type of speech, this type of hate is more normalized, and people are out there with it. They're not afraid to tag people's garages, and tag the streets, and it's shocking that this is happening,” said the neighbor who didn’t want to be identified.
But this community says together, they'll stand strong
“You can choose to hide yourself and protect yourself, and not go out, and not go and say who you are, or it's a chance to come out and make a statement," Joshua Cohen said. “It's a time for us to make our stance, and show that we're proud of who we are."
Several neighbors all banded together and helped repaint the garage and scrub the hateful message out of the concrete Monday.
The Seattle Police Department tells me its bias crime team is investigating this as a hate crime but, so far, there are no suspects.
For background, the Seattle Police Department’s website reads, “If the case meets the criteria for a hate crime, your case will then be forwarded to SPD's Bias Crime Detective or a local precinct detective for follow up investigation.”
The FBI says hate crimes are up 17 percent nationally in the recently released 2017 numbers. Hate crimes in Seattle have doubled.
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