Graffiti on the windows on the abandoned Meglio Furs store in South Philadelphia. Photos by Jared Brey
This is a developing story.
On the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht, during which Jewish-owned businesses and buildings across Nazi Germany were attacked and destroyed, Philadelphia police are investigating an act of vandalism involving swastikas and president-elect Donald Trump’s name painted on the storefront windows of the abandoned Meglio Furs at Broad and Wharton streets in South Philadelphia.
Cosmo Baker of nearby Garrett Street said he saw a picture of the graffiti on social media and walked over to the site. Police arrived shortly after. He doesn’t know who called them.
Baker agreed to be the complainant after police arrived. A detective was on the scene as of 11:40 a.m.
Baker said he contacted the Anti-Defamation League, and he told police the incident should be investigated as a hate crime. Whether it was drawn by a Trump supporter or protestor, the effect is the same, he said.
Artist Caryn Kunkle said on Facebook she was planning to gather friends to cover over the graffiti:
“It’s very affronting,” Kunkle said when she arrived. She unloaded cans of paint from a bag while she waited for some friends to arrive.
“Folks who are inclined to be mean to other folks feel very empowered at the moment.”
Before Kunkle could begin painting, though, a two-man crew from the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) showed up and quickly removed the graffiti.
“We are horrified by the appearance of hate graffiti on a storefront in South Philadelphia,” said Nancy K. Baron-Baer, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, in a press release. “Swastikas and the Nazi salute send a message of intolerance and hate to the entire community. The fact that today is the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht adds another layer to this already sickening act.”