After being informed about a swastika drawn on a Cedarhurst sidewalk, Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky arrived on the scene Monday night and personally removed the hate symbol. A second swastika was found on the same Long Island street on Tuesday.
“Swastikas and other symbols of hate have no place in our community — and those who commit such acts must be brought to justice immediately,” Assemblyman Kaminsky, a former prosecutor, was quoted as saying in a press release. “I did what any member of the community would do, walking passed a swastika – I got on the ground and removed it.”
Kaminsky was notified by local community patrol organization Rockaway Nassau Safety Patrol (RNSP) regarding the vandalism. The incident was investigated by RNSP, in collaboration with officers from the Nassau County’s Fourth Precinct.
The assemblyman, who represents New York’s 20th district — including Cedarhurst, Island Park and Hewlett in Nassau County — added that the discovery of a second swastika indicates a calculated attempt at intimidation.
“We must show that our love for community is stronger than their attempts to install fear in us,” Kaminsky said. “We must stand together as a community and say that we will not tolerate anyone’s attempts to spread hatred.”
The RNSP’s Sholem Klein said that the organization will boost security in the area.
“We urge neighbors to review any surveillance footage that they may have and notify us or local law enforcement so that those responsible for this disgusting crime can be held accountable,” Klein was quoted as saying.
This isn’t the first time Kaminsky has confronted an anti-Semitic incident. When swastikas were found at the Cedarhurst and Lawrence stations, Kaminsky wrote a letter to Long Island Rail Road (“LIRR”) officials urging that cameras be placed in local train stations.
The LIRR responded by installing surveillance equipment to deter potential vandals. Kaminsky also introduced legislation (A.8374) criminalizing the public display of a swastika.
“Signs of intolerance and hatred — such as the one perpetrated in our own backyard today — will not be tolerated by me and our community,” Kaminsky said. “We must do everything that we can to stamp out intolerance, and I will continue to lead the fight to end this spate of hateful bigotry.”
Kaminsky is running for the State Senate for District 9 in a special election to be held on April 19. The seat was formerly held by Dean Skelos, who left office following his conviction on federal corruption charges.