Mayor speaks about hate crimes in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Mayor speaks about hate crimes in Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson's Mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, is asking the highest levels of the United States government to vigorously investigate the recent increase in antisemitic crime in Tucson and across the nation.

In recent weeks, there have been more than 100 bomb threats, including the one at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, three cemeteries have been desecrated, and four mosques have been burned.

"This has now crossed the level of domestic terrorism," said Rothschild. "They are acts of domestic terrorism with a pattern."

The call to the higher levels of government to investigate follows Tucson's passage of a hate crimes ordinance which will be approved March 21.

"It is imperative the federal government do a fully resourced, fully personal investigation into this," he said.

Signs of antisemitic slurs have been showing up in Tucson in recent weeks.

A photograph posted at the entrance of the Tucson Jewish History Museum's Holocaust entrance reads "with Jews you lose."

According to the museum Executive Director Bryan Davis, the stenciled graffiti has shown up throughout the city just since November 16, a week after the election. 

"People have come in and said, oh yeah, I saw that at Grant and Swan, I saw that at 5th and Craycroft," Davis said. "So people have said they've seen this at shopping centers, sidewalks, or bus stops."

Tucson Police Chris Magnus said he has seen an increase in recent months in the number of hate crime calls although there is no specific number. 

The concern of all three is that right now the violence in the graffiti is symbolic more than real, but that can change in a heart beat.

"It's a great cause for concern," said Davis. "These forms of violence historically lead to more overt and brutal forms of violence."

Also, the AZ Faith Network has issued a letter in "Support of the Arizona Jewish Community." It can be found here: 

AZFaithNetworkSupportforJewishCommunityofAZMarch2017 by Tucson News Now on Scribd

For more on Tucson's Jewish History Museum click HERE

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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