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Police investigate two incidents of anti-Semitic, racist vandalism at Yale construction site

Police have released photos of the suspects connected to the most recent incident.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale University Police have released photos of several suspects they said vandalized a building on campus with anti-Semitic and racist graffiti. 

The investigation started on Sept. 20 when members of a construction crew noticed that anti-Semitic and racist graffiti was spraypainted inside of the Kline Biology Tower. The tower has been under construction and closed off, inaccessible to the Yale community. 

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Authorities said project materials belonging to one construction company employee had also been vandalized. 

On Sept. 21, the Yale Police Department was notified of the incident and began investigating. The facilities team with the help of the construction company increased security measures and installed more security cameras. 

Around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, cameras recorded several young adults who had scaled the perimeter fencing and broke into the construction site. 

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"I thought it was horrible you know," Sameer Andas, a student at Yale University told FOX61. "I never thought that a place like Yale University would be a home for anti-Semitic statements."

Officials said the suspects vandalized indoor areas of the building and spray-painted anti-Semitic and racist language inside.

"Of course it's upsetting, I think there's no space for hate around here," Nick Nugent, a student at Yale said. "I don't think it's representative of the student body."

Yale police are investigating both incidents which they said may be related. 

Yale President Peter Salovey said in a statement that he's asked campus police and security to further increase patrols on campus. 

"I am grateful to Chief Higgins and our colleagues in public safety for responding to these incidents and for working around the clock to protect all those who work and live on our campus," said Salovey.

"I am disgusted and angered that these individuals have spread messages of hate and intolerance at this worksite. With President Salovey’s support, my team and I are working intently to find those responsible. We also have increased patrols on campus. This is our community, and we will work tirelessly to protect it," said Ronnell Higgins, Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police. 

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New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker condemned the incident, saying in a statement that anti-Semitism "stands in sharp contrast with the values of our community."

“Haven, meaning a place of safety or refuge, isn’t just in our city’s name – it’s a central part of our city’s DNA," he said. "We, as a community, will always welcome individuals of every race, religion, and creed – and reject threats aimed at our friends and neighbors.”

The Anti-Defamation League, of Connecticut also released a statement, saying the organization is "very troubled by the vile racist and anti-Semitic messages."

"We thank Yale Police Chief Higgins @yalepblcsafety & President @SaloveyPeter for quickly responding & addressing these acts of hate. We hope the perpetrators will be brought to justice soon," ADL CT continued on Twitter.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro said she is heartbroken by the symbols, and we must condemn anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its forms and whenever it occurs.

" This act of hate has no place in New Haven, or in any of our communities, and will not be tolerated," DeLauro continued. "Anti-Semitism in every form must be confronted, condemned, and combatted by public servants, community leaders, and people of good faith. Acts like this are carried out to instill fear and spread hatred. We all have a moral obligation to speak up and take action when acts like this occur in the community.”

If anyone has information they're asked to call 203-432-4400.

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