Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Ex-Cop Accused of Anti-Semitic Vandalism
Sunday, May 04, 2014
Police arrested a 36-year-old former NYPD officer, Michael Setiawan, who allegedly spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti on vehicles and buildings across Borough Park, Brooklyn.
One incident was caught by a surveillance camera.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind said the vandalism, which included pink swastikas and slurs, was extremely hateful, but also mystifying.
"Because this is a former police officer who knew they were surveillance cameras, he knows about cameras, he didn't exactly try to hide his identity and commit the crime," said Hikind. "It's almost like he wanted to get caught."Police arrested a 36-year-old former police officer, Michael Setiawan, who allegedly spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti on vehicles and buildings across Borough Park, Brooklyn.
Council member Chaim Deutsch, who represents Manhattan Beach, where a group of teenagers allegedly defaced a home and tree trunk with anti-Semitic slurs, said the punishment for such crimes should depend on the perpetrator. A member of a hate group, he argued, deserves a relatively serious sentence.
"And if it's a few stupid teenagers or people that scrawl something on the walls, symbol of a swastika, they need to be educated and maybe put out to take off the graffiti and do countless hours of community service," said Deutsch.
Hikind said that many acts of anti-Semitism go unreported.
"When it's isolated, it doesn't get the attention. The message to everyone out there is, if you see something like this -- a message of hate, racism, anti-Semitism -- report it to the police."