GENEVA, N.Y. (WROC) — The Geneva Police Department is investigating racially-charged symbols in connection to hate crime incidents.
Officials say they are investigating two criminal mischief complaints involving damage to private property. Police say the incidents are “racially motivated” due to the nature of the symbols, which include swastikas, and the phrase “white power” found at the scenes.
The first complaint was reported on June 6 in an Elm Street parking lot. During their investigation, Geneva police found no witnesses, surveillance footage, or other leads.
The second complaint came after a concerned citizen notified authorities on July 15. Police responded to Mt. Calvary Church Street where they found what appeared to be two swastikas spray-painted on the side of a church. Police found no witnesses, surveillance footage, or other leads in this incident as well.
Geneva Police Chief Michael Passalacqua released a statement, saying in part:
“This type of divisive display on any property within the City of Geneva will not be tolerated at any level. The rich diverse makeup of our City is one of the best attributes we have that make the City of Geneva as beautiful as it is.”
City of Geneva Councilor at large Mark Gramling also released a statement regarding the incidents, saying in part:
“We are blessed to live in a community enriched with culture and diversity. Unfortunately, there seems to be a remnant who devalue and express bigotry towards Geneva’s diverse community. Leaders of the Community Compact, including Geneva Police Department, and city officials have been working together for a more inclusive Geneva and these actions go against everything we have been working together for.
This is a hate crime and these actions of racism will not be tolerated! I, as a Geneva public official, will push for perpetrators to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.