Highland Park, News

Swastika graffiti found in Highland Park park

Highland Park police are investigating antisemitic graffiti found Monday at a local beachfront park.

According to a release from the City of Highland Park, the graffiti depicting a swastika was made in Millard Park, 14 acres including ravines, bluffs and natural habitat at 35 Ravine Drive.

More information was not immediately available, and City officials did not return messages from The Record.

The Park District of Highland Park reportedly removed the graffiti once it was notified of its presence.

Police are asking individuals with any information related to the antisemitic graffiti to call (847) 432-7730.

“The City stands in solidarity with our Jewish community in denouncing all acts of antisemitism. Hate-motivated acts have no place in our community and are antithetical to our values,” it says in a message from the City, which also posted its “Statement Against Hate.”

A similar incident occurred in Highland Park in May 2023, when a swastika made of blue tape was found on a garbage can in the town’s Hybernia neighborhood.

Just a few days after that image was found, Highland Park police arrested a juvenile in relation to the crime. The City reported that tips from residents led to the arrest.

Highland Park consists of a significant and longstanding Jewish population. Demographic organizations have reported that between one-third and one-half of the city’s residents are Jewish.

A report from the Anti-Defamation League found that antisemitic incidents in 2022 rose 35 percent over 2021, when such incidents were already at record highs. And since Oct. 7, the day Hamas attacked the people of Israel, the group says incidents have risen even further.

In multiple incidents reported in 2022, antisemitic materials were distributed to numerous residences in Highland Park and several neighboring communities — including Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka and Glencoe. They led to a spring 2022 rally in protest of antisemitism and all hate organized by local community groups, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioner Scott Britton, who reportedly received one of the packets at his Glenview home.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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