Authorities want the public's help in finding the person who spray-painted words such as "Go Home," ''Trump America" and (Muslim) "terrorist" on a vehicle in Ohio.
Somebody damaged and vandalized a Ford Explorer owned by a person of Middle Eastern descent at about 4:20 a.m. on May 4, 2017, Cincinnati FBI officials recently announced.
The vandal broke windows, slashed tires and spray painted Nazi swastikas and racial slurs that read "Go Home," "Musslim (sic) Terrorist" and "Trump America."
A pro–Trump suspect was captured on surveillance video in a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
Executive Assistant Police Chief Dave Bailey said hate crimes are rare in Cincinnati, but they can cause fear for victims and have "ripple effects" in the community.
"Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim," Byers said. "They're meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community."
Paul Booth with the Human Relations Commission said these rare crimes seem to be happening more.
"I'm appalled and uh there seems to be an increase although we can't quantify that," he said.
His office is currently working on tracking these crimes, but in the meantime he said the community also has to do more.
"We have to say this is no place for hate. We have to lock arms. We have to stand together as a community and when we see something we must say something," Booth said.
The FBI asks anyone with information to call the FBI in Cincinnati. A $3,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest.
On May 4, 2017, at approximately 4:20 a.m., a 2006 Ford Explorer in an apt building parking lot in the Sayler Park neighborhood of Cincinnati, OH, was badly damaged and vandalized with graffiti. The #FBI is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for info: https://t.co/9k4HgpAfi7 pic.twitter.com/YZw2r9N3dU— FBI Most Wanted (@FBIMostWanted) February 9, 2018
“We urge anyone with information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator to immediately contact law enforcement authorities,” said CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Director Karen Dabdoub. “We thank the FBI for its action in this case and hope it sends a strong message that acts of anti-Muslim bigotry will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
According to Council on American Islamic Relations, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, anti-Muslim hate crimes have been on a rise since Donald Trump was elected the president of the country.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Nancy Wiechec