November 09, 2016
Philadelphia police have responded to a South Philly property where two swastikas were spray-painted on the empty building's windows sometime Wednesday morning.
The symbols were scrawled in black paint on the former Meglio Furs building at 1300 S. Broad St. In one instance, the swastika appears to replace the letter T in the word "Trump." In the second, it was accompanied by the German phrase "Sieg Heil 2016."
Public Affairs Officer Christine O'Brien said detectives responded to the location after receiving a call about the symbols and accompanying German writing. "Sieg Heil" translated means "Hail Victory" and was a common chant at political rallies in Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
Cosmo Baker, a DJ and South Philadelphia resident, said he saw a friend post about the swastikas on Facebook Wednesday morning before he went out to see them.
Baker assumed the role of primary complainant to police, calling the graffiti a hate crime.
"I think the messaging was very clear," Baker said. "(Whether) it was malicious intent or stupid kids who wanted to be provocative, it still has the same effect."
Baker said he contacted the Anti-Defamation League. He added that friends and family had contacted similar organizations about the swastikas.
Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement that the acts should be "condemned in the strongest possible terms."
“As I said in my statement to residents today, in the wake of the election, Philadelphians must work tirelessly to bridge the divides that have plagued this nation for decades," he said. "I know that many residents are planning to take part in vigils and rallies tonight and in the days ahead, and I urge you to gather respectfully and peacefully.”
The Philadelphia Anti-Defamation League also decried the graffiti. Nancy Baron-Baer, regional director, for the league said she was "horrified" by the messages.
“While we view this as an isolated incident, we cannot allow this behavior to become routine," she said in a statement. "Everyone has a role to play in combating bigotry – we must advocate, educate and investigate until hate is no longer welcome in our society."