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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, June 10, 2024

Police investigating two incidents involving vandalization of Israeli flags

The Davis Police Department is investigating the occurrences as hate crimes 

 

By CHRIS PONCE — city@theaggie.org

 

On April 15, the city of Davis Police Department announced they are investigating two incidents, one of which was caught on camera, of a suspect or suspects who vandalized Israeli flags that were hung at residents’ homes. The footage shows someone with a “large knife” who sliced an Israeli flag and stole it. Both incidents, which occurred on April 12, are being investigated by authorities as hate crimes. 

“During the early morning hours of Friday, April 12, 2024, a person with a large knife entered the front yard of a residence located in east Davis and sliced an Israeli flag that was also taken,” Davis police said on Facebook. “The Police Department is aware that another vandalism, also regarding an Israeli flag, occurred not far from the one captured in the video.”

The footage shows the suspect in shorts, a hooded jacket and wearing a face mask approaching the home with the knife and making incisions on the flag. Authorities have called these incidents hate crimes because of possible motives.

Both incidents are being investigated as hate crimes because it is believed the crimes were meant to terrorize the residents of these homes because of actual or perceived religious beliefs,” authorities said.

The incidents come six months after antisemitic graffiti of an Israeli flag with a swastika replacing the Star of David was found near Highway 113 and antisemitic flyers were left downtown. The Davis Phoenix Coalition shared their response to these incidents and the most recent occurrence on Facebook.

“In our experience, these acts range from deliberate provocation by white supremacists to adolescent desires to shock by school-aged children,” the Davis Phoenix Coalition said in their post. “Some of these acts are perpetrated by people outside our community; others from those who live here in Davis.”

The group said that regardless if the incident was intentionally an act of antisemitism or meant to be a political statement about the Israeli government, “the effect was the same.”

“The Davis Phoenix Coalition draws a bright line between reasoned criticism of the Israeli government and hatred against all Jewish people,” the Davis Phoenix Coalition said. “The latter is never acceptable. Last night’s act of vandalism was also an act of intimidation, spreading fear among our Jewish neighbors. All forms of prejudice are interconnected, and when one marginalized community becomes the focus of hate, it makes our community as a whole feel unsafe. This ripple effect damages our bonds of trust unless countered with solidarity.”

Authorities are asking anyone with information about these crimes or who recognizes the suspect to contact the police via phone (530-747-5400) or email (policeweb@cityofdavis.org).

“The Davis Police Department stands with all hate crime victims; incidents of hate cannot be tolerated, they will be investigated to the fullest extent possible, and those found to be responsible will be arrested,” authorities said.

 

Written by: Chris Ponce city@theaggie.org

 

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