A Texas man was arrested Sunday evening on suspicion of carving antisemitic, Nazi symbols into the bottom of a giant menorah in Beverly Hills.
Officers have 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 accordance 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 doable, police mentioned.
“A despicable act corresponding to this may by no means be tolerated in our metropolis,” Police Chief Mark G. Stainbrook mentioned.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division jail data 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 Larger Los Angeles, mentioned his group is conscious of the incident and is working with Beverly Hills officers and native legislation enforcement “to make sure that justice is served and future acts of hate will be prevented.”
“It’s unlucky that we as Jews can’t actually 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 surprise of Hanukkah and the enjoyment of being Jewish. We’ll proceed to dwell with delight and can by no means enable an incident like this to decrease our spirit.”
In line with a report launched this month by the L.A. County Fee on Human Relations, hate crimes surged final yr to their highest stage since 2002.
The report famous 786 victims of hate crimes, a 23% improve over 2020. Of the 111 spiritual crimes within the report, three-quarters focused Jews.
Although the report doesn’t embody any information from 2022, specialists say it’s unlikely the development has modified since final yr.
In line with Los Angeles Police Division information analyzed by the Heart for the Research 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 corresponding to Kanye West overtly 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 form 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 kind of antisemitism.”