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What you need to know for 11/21/2017

Saratoga Springs police investigating swastika painted on crosswalk

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Saratoga Springs police investigating swastika painted on crosswalk

Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen is denouncing the culprit or culprits after a Nazi symbol was p
Saratoga Springs police investigating swastika painted on crosswalk
City police are investigating after a Nazi symbol was painted on a crosswalk near the Eastside Recreation Park. The symbol has since been painted over.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen is denouncing the culprit or culprits after a Nazi symbol was painted on a public crosswalk near the Eastside Recreation Park.

A small swastika was painted inside the crosswalk at Caroline Street and Granger Avenue. It was discovered Monday morning.

The symbol has since been painted over by someone who lettered the word "LOVE" on top of it. That was the crosswalk's condition when a city public works crew arrived to remove the swastika Monday morning.

Graffiti over graffiti

An increase in such incidents as swastika paintings and white supremacist graffiti has been reported across the country since last week's election of Donald Trump as the nation's next president. There have been incidents in at least one local school district, and a white supremacist poster appearing at the University at Albany.

Yepsen believes the incident is linked to the election, in which Trump made a number of divisive statements. Since the election, there have also been protests against Trump.

"Obviously our community is not immune from the turbulent post-election atmosphere," Yepsen said.

The crosswalk is next to the recreation field, and also less than a block from the Caroline Street elementary school.

"This act of hate, racism and anti-Semitism is unacceptable and runs counter to everything we are doing to creative an inclusive environment in Saratoga Springs," Yepsen said.

The incident was reported on social media, but a police spokesman said the department had received no formal complaint about the incident. The appearance of a swastika could potentially be treated as a "hate crime," as well as a simple act of vandalism.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, swilliams@dailygazette.net or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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