El Dorado News-Times

Police probe second anti-Semitic vandalizat­ion incident

Mellor Park, St. Mary’s targeted so far this year


The El Dorado Police Department is investigat­ing a pair of recent incidents in which property was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Vandalism was reported earlier this week at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Champagnol­le Road and is the second such incident to occur in the city within the past two months.

In January, anti-Semitic graffiti was reported in Mellor Park, which is several blocks north of St. Mary’s.

Offensive messages aimed at Jewish people had been spray-painted and marked on picnic tables, columns and the concrete padding in the pavilion on the northeast side of the park.

City crews scrubbed the concrete, matched paint to cover the columns and repainted the picnic tables Wildcat Purple.

While following up on the work in early February, Karen Hicks, a member of the El Dorado Parks and Playground­s Commission, discovered more anti-Semitic words, some misspelled, atop a slide in the park.

Hicks and Michael Lewis, city parks and green space manager, said the graffiti on the slide did not appear to be fresh.

One of the derogatory messages referenced rapper-producer-fashion designer Kanye West and indicated that the suspect(s) agreed with comments West made in late 2022 that were widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

Graffiti was reported at St. Mary’s on March 19.

Words and symbols, including an inverted cross and a message that promoted the website of an anti-Semitic hate group, were spray-painted in several areas on the church’s property.

A cross was spray-painted upside down on the front door of the church.

Depending on the intent, the inverted cross represents various meanings, including humility, Christiani­ty or anti-Christiani­ty, atheism, Satan or the occult.

Messages were also found on the church building.

One of the messages listed the website of a group that is described as an “Accelerati­onist Revolution­ary National Socialist organizati­on,” per

the group’s website.

The website contains violent imagery and words, anti-Semitic slurs and other language and slang that is commonly used by White Nationalis­t groups and individual­s.

Criteria for membership is also listed on the website, some of which require members to be male, at least 16 years old, White (European) ancestry, physically fit, willing to commit action in real life and conduct an action for the group at least once a month.

“We are not looking for keyboard warriors,” the site reads.

EPD Chief Kenny Hick- man said the Mellor Park and St. Mary’s incidents have been reported to police and are under investigat­ion.

He declined to release further details about the probe into the matter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States