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Anti-Semitic symbols appear again in Ballard Park

June 14, 2017 GMT

RIDGEFIELD - Police are investigating the appearance of a swastika and other racist and anti-Semitic graffiti near the stage in Ballard Park.

Officials said the graffiti was discovered late Tuesday and that the police department has already begun an investigation into the matter.

“We take these matters very seriously,” said Capt. Jeff Kreitz, a spokesman for the police department.

Officials declined to specify what comments were scrawled in permanent marker and spray paint near the stage, but First Selectman Rudy Marconi said town crews had already painted over the messages by Wednesday afternoon.

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“It’s a shame that somebody decided to deface public property like this,” Marconi said. “The people who are responsible for this should be brought before the authorities and made to pay the consequences.

“I’m sure the police department will get to the bottom of it,’ he said. “This kind of language will not be tolerated.”

There was an increase in the appearance of swastikas and other racist statements and symbols in the area following the presidential election.

In November, officials found a swastika drawn in ketchup on the sidewalk near the Ballard Park playground. Also in November, police in Danbury investigated the appearance of more than half a dozen swastikas spray-painted in black on a home and a car on Division Street.

Marconi said the disturbing graffiti found near in Ballard Park could serve as a teachable moment for parents.

“There are many conversations that should take place in the home that often don’t, and maybe this is one conversation that needs to happen,” he said. “Parents need to discuss with their children why something like this is wrong and is not acceptable in our society.”

Steve Ginsberg, director of the state’s Anti-Defamation League chapter, has said the group and others like it have been partly successful in recent decades but making it socially unacceptable.

“We are very concerned about that unraveling,” he said.

dperrefort@newstimes.com