Anti-hate vigil held after hate crime investigation rocks Sayler Park
SAYLER PARK, Ohio (WKRC) - Neighbors gathered Friday night for an anti-hate vigil hours after they found out about a hate crime investigation that had been going on since last May.
The FBI and the Cincinnati Police Department released photos and video of a person spray painting an SUV on May 4, 2017. The maroon SUV was spray painted and scratched with swastikas and the phrases “Go Home,” “Muslim Terrorist” and “Trump USA.” The video also shows a person slashing the tires and smashing the windows. It happened at 4:20 a.m.
“This is something we don’t tolerate in Sayler Park. It’s not something that we consider ok and we’re going to speak out against it,” said Garrett Gerard, a member of the Sayler Park Village Council.
Gerard and most of the residents said they found out about the crime Friday afternoon after the FBI held the press conference.
“We believe this vehicle was specifically targeted because it was owned by a person of Middle Eastern descent at the time these acts were carried out,” said Angela Byers, Special Agent of the Cincinnati office of the FBI.
Byers said the FBI takes hate crimes seriously.
“These types of crimes are rare for us. We don’t see them very often but they can cause victims fear and have ripple effects throughout the community,” said Dave Bailey, assistant police chief with the Cincinnati Police Dept.
Friday night, nearly 50 people gathered in Nelson Sayler Park for a candlelight vigil. Members of “The Tillers” played songs of peace and solidarity. Residents said they were shocked to hear what had happened. They prayed it would never happen again.
Anyone with information about the vandal can call CrimeStoppers at 513.352.3040 or the FBI at 513.979.8333. Tips may also be submitted on the internet at tips.fbi.gov