Syracuse, N.Y. – Upon learning tonight of a racist graffiti incident on City of Syracuse property that occurred on Oct. 30, Mayor Ben Walsh ordered the Syracuse Police Department to open an investigation of the matter. The graffiti, which appeared in the back parking lot of the Cecile Community Center at 174 W. Seneca Turnpike, was comprised of several images, including a swastika.

“I was informed tonight that when city employees discovered the graffiti, it was immediately removed consistent with how graffiti is handled on our grounds,” Mayor Walsh said. “As soon as my office was notified tonight, we reported it to the Syracuse Police Department. At my request, the Criminal Investigations Divisions opened an investigation immediately.”

The graffiti was reported to the Mayor’s office by Common Council President Helen Hudson, who learned of it tonight from a constituent. The reporting of the graffiti to Mayor Walsh coincides with a series of racist incidents that have occurred in Syracuse over the past few weeks.

“I thank the person who came forward and President Hudson for bringing the information to us immediately. It is our duty to create an environment in which employees are vigilant to report any acts of bias or hatred in our community,” said Mayor Walsh. “I want our employees and all of our residents to know that we have zero tolerance for hate in our City.”

Mayor Walsh said he would order a full review of the City’s existing policies for reporting and addressing race, bias, and hate incidents so that employees and city residents know exactly what to do when encountering such situations. Reports of any incidents should be made to the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5111 or in the case of an emergency dial 911.

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