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Police Cement Over Swastika Etched in Greenpoint Sidewalk

By Gwynne Hogan | September 1, 2017 3:11pm | Updated on September 5, 2017 7:57am
 Police officers from Brooklyn North covered up a swastika that had been etched for decades into the sidewalk with concrete Friday.
Police officers from Brooklyn North covered up a swastika that had been etched for decades into the sidewalk with concrete Friday.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

GREENPOINT — Police officers Friday cemented over a swastika etched in the sidewalk that neighbors said had gone unnoticed by many.

Officers from Brooklyn North poured fresh cement over the 8-inch swastika, located on Kingsland Avenue near the intersection with Nassau Avenue, several days after getting wind of it through the North Brooklyn Community Facebook Group. 

Greenpoint resident Jess Ryan, 33, posted about the swastika after complaining to 311 multiple times in June, to no avail, she said.

"I didn't want this symbol of oppression and hate to be normalized any longer, something that is just passed by and ignored as myself and my neighbors go about our lives," she said.

The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force documented the swastika and began its investigation last week, and three officers from Brooklyn North were dispatched Friday to cover it up, said Detective Caz Daughtry.

"This has been sitting here for way too long...This is just unacceptable," Daughtry said, adding he'd asked a friend for cement. When the detective explained what it was for, his friend replied, "I'll give you ten buckets," Daughtry said.

A woman entering the building adjacent to the swastika, who declined to give her name, said the symbol had been there for decades and insisted it was the version of the symbol originally affiliated with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

"Look it up," she said.

Another man, who would only identify himself as Nimo, said he'd lived next door from the swastika for the last two years and never noticed it.

"We don't need it here, we need to accept everybody," said Nimo, who described himself as Jewish and from Israel, calling it an "evil sign of white supremacy."

Teresa Ticale, 55, a lifelong resident of Greenpoint, said she'd never noticed the swastika, though she'd passed that stretch of sidewalk countless times.

"They have to [cover it up] now that everyone's so sensitive."