A Texas man was arrested Sunday evening on suspicion of carving antisemitic, Nazi symbols into the bottom of a big menorah in Beverly Hills.
Officers had been referred to as round 8 p.m. to a report of an individual defacing a menorah close to Sundown Boulevard and Foothill Street, in line with the Beverly Hills Police Division.
The suspect, recognized Monday as 47-year-old Dallas resident Eric Brian King, was captured on surveillance video that confirmed him throwing objects on the menorah, police mentioned.
Sunday was the primary evening of Hanukkah.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that King carved Nazi symbols into the bottom of the menorah,” police mentioned. “He was charged with felony vandalism and a hate crime.”
Detectives are persevering with to look into the case and extra prices are potential, police mentioned.
“A despicable act reminiscent of it will by no means be tolerated in our metropolis,” Police Chief Mark G. Stainbrook mentioned.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division jail information present King was booked at 10:41 p.m. Sunday and was being held on $20,000 bail as of Monday.
Rabbi Noah Farkas, president and chief govt of the Jewish Federation of Better Los Angeles, mentioned his group is conscious of the incident and is working with Beverly Hills officers and native regulation enforcement “to make sure that justice is served and future acts of hate may be prevented.”
“It’s unlucky that we as Jews can’t also have a peaceable show of our faith with out being focused on this disturbing wave of current antisemitism domestically and globally,” Farkas mentioned. “We is not going to let this act, or any act of hate, deter us from celebrating the marvel of Hanukkah and the enjoyment of being Jewish. We’ll proceed to stay with pleasure and can by no means permit an incident like this to decrease our spirit.”
In response to a report launched this month by the L.A. County Fee on Human Relations, hate crimes surged final yr to their highest degree since 2002.
The report famous 786 victims of hate crimes, a 23% improve over 2020. Of the 111 non secular crimes within the report, three-quarters focused Jews.
Although the report doesn’t embrace any knowledge from 2022, consultants say it’s unlikely the development has modified since final yr.
In response to Los Angeles Police Division knowledge analyzed by the Middle for the Examine of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, hate crimes in Los Angeles rose by 12% within the first 10 months of this yr over the identical interval in 2021. Anti-Jewish hate crimes went up 13%, from 71 to 80.
Brian Levin, the middle’s director, mentioned he expects the variety of hate crimes to proceed rising into 2023 with high-profile figures reminiscent of Kanye West brazenly spouting antisemitic remarks on-line and in interviews. Two months in the past, a hate group waved a banner on a 405 Freeway overpass in Los Angeles in help of the rapper’s feedback.
“It’s not simply the type of antisemitic assault now that happens the place somebody needs to be nameless in a darkish alley,” Levin mentioned. “That is an in-your-face brazen sort of antisemitism.”