Swastika Burned Into Holmes Jr. High Picnic Table

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Holmes

The Davis Police are reporting that a swastika was founded burned into a picnic table at Holmes Junior High.  This is the third known hate incident in the last month following the noose found at Davis High’s football stadium and the swastika and the “N” word found in a freeway underpass.

According to Lt. Paul Doroshov, “At approximately 9:30 AM, Davis Police personnel responded to Holmes Jr. High School for a Hate Incident/Vandalism/Arson. Between July 6th and today’s date, someone charred the impression of a Swastika on one of the picnic tables and burned the top of another metal picnic table.”

Both tables were located in the school’s courtyard.

Lt. Doroshov said, “Police processed the scene and are investigating this crime. There are no suspects at this time and no evidence to suggest this incident is somehow related to the prior and already reported on hate incidents that occurred last month.”

“The Davis Police is committed to keeping our community involved and aware of such events. Schools can be prime targets for vandalism during the summer months,” he said in a statement.  “We urge anyone residing near a school to report any suspicious activity to our dispatch center by calling 530-747-5400 (Or dialing 911 when an in-progress crime is suspected).”

The Vanguard went to Holmes Jr. High on Monday afternoon and found that the vandalism had been removed.  Lt. Doroshov informed us that district personnel had removed it before it was publicly available.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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25 thoughts on “Swastika Burned Into Holmes Jr. High Picnic Table”

  1. Gunrock

    no Ryan, this is the unlocking of the third seal. It is the symbol of the end of times in Davis.

    I am pretty sure that this is the symbol that will unleash the mighty army of bloggers who will bring the internet to a standstill, all discussion on anything else will cease, meetings to discuss this will consume all the remaining time in the universe. People will be unable to eat without discussing the secret fascists of Davis. The end is at hand.

    In no time at all Central Park will be clogged with white hooded, swastika bearing, goose-stepping rascists lynch mobs. There will be no room for the occupy tents. It is the end…

  2. rusty49

    Extra….extra….read all about it.

    Davis overreacts to kids playing with liberals in town.

    Activists call for townhall meetings.

    Lock your doors, keep your children inside.

  3. JustSaying

    This would be the second “known hate incident…following the noose.” Unless we consider the freeway underpass as two “known hate incidents.” Unless we don’t yet consider any of the vandalism as “known hate incidents” until police determine who did these acts and why–in which case, none of the three would be classified as a “known hate incident.”

    I’m not sure how distressed I am that the Vanguard arrived too late to photograph this one. Would it have been better in the other two cases if “district personnel had removed (the noose and the swastika/n-word) before it was publicly available”?

  4. dlemongello

    We are all only guessing, but I do tend to think they are just messing with us. They have nothing better to do (or so they think) and because of immaturity do not understand in what bad taste it is. It is also vandalism of course. If they are caught I hope someone with the right skills can get through to them about how unconstructive this is and that there really is something more fulfilling on which to spend one’s time.

  5. Alan Miller

    I appreciate the Vanguard toning this one down. I don’t agree with the categorization of this as a (certain) hate crime, and this time it was the police who sent out a bulletin and labeled it that way. I don’t appreciate the police toning it up.

    Much like suicide clusters, we are experiencing an attention cluster. These *may* be hate crimes, and much more likely they are moron crimes, perpetrated by youth who enjoy watching the things they do get the attention of the town. We have taught these very few individuals that they can get attention by faking what is known as a “hate crime”. Suicide clusters are more easily ended when those on the edge don’t hear much about a ‘spree’ and those involved.

    Don’t get me wrong, hate crimes do exist. These particular acts, however, are not necessarily hate crimes simply because the acts use symbols often used in hate crimes. To illustrate, N is one of the ugliest words. Yet some people in the group most offended by the use of the word use it regularly in the musical arts. And, BTW, loudly and daily shouting into cell phones on Sacramento light rail. It is all about intent and context.

    And attention. The person who seems to be the go-to race crime person in Davis said something about if you see ice on the ocean surface, best to assume there is big iceberg below, or something like that. But sometimes that white on the sea is just sea foam (please take no meaning from the word ‘white’ — that’s what icebergs are, deal with it). Sea foam won’t sink the good ship Davis. Most of us are appalled by actual racism, I’d guess well over 95% of Davisites, maybe over 96.3%, maybe I’m just throwing out numbers in the nineties to make my point.

    The fact is, three people or less could have committed these acts. I’ve got a heavy does of Jewish background in my personal mutt mix, and despite the fact that the government employee who found the underpass symbols declared ‘hate is alive and well in Davis’ in a public meeting, I am not too concerned about a burning Star of David on my lawn as the next act following a dyslexic Swastika. Attention grabbing and spreading fear is certainly alive and well in Davis, but personally I am happy to know that most people know that a few morons are certainly alive and well in Davis, and if they are ever ‘caught’, they will be derided as such by 96.3% of the town, because we have a good town that hates racism, and thinks these acts are moronic.

    I don’t know why the politicians feel they have to make statements, or why anyone in the public would think they should. Joe, Rochelle, Dan, Sue, Stephen. Never had a hint of a reason to suspect racism in any one of you, or to think any of you would be anything but appalled by a definitive hate crime in Davis or anywhere.

    We know we have few morons in Davis. Want to stop this ‘spree’ of H crimes? Report what we see, and drop the speculation. This article came pretty close. Soon, spree gone.

    What will those who like to make a big deal of prematurely judging the nature of a crime, do?

  6. cyclrn

    As someone of neither Jewish, nor black (though DNA evidence would suggest otherwise) descent, I can not fully fathom the fall-out of being forced to remember the horrors endured by my direct ancestors. I can, however, try. With this in mind, I hope our community can be recognized for how we respond (Ie condemning the acts, coming together in solidarity and yes, moving on), rather than allowing the acts to define us.

  7. medwoman

    Alan

    [quote]What will those who like to make a big deal of prematurely judging the nature of a crime, do?[/quote]

    I respect your point of view about not prematurely judging the nature of a crime. However, I will play devil’s advocate here. To decide that this is just “attention seeking behavior” on the part of a “few morons” is just as much a prejudgement as is to declare with certainty that this is a “hate crime”. I feel that these acts are, without regard to motive, wrong. At the very least, they deface our community. At the worst, they may represent threats of a highly personal nature. We have no way of knowing.

    The notion that they will simply disappear if we ignore them is in itself a prejudgement and may or may not be accurate. How do we know that ignored, they will not escalate ?

    [quote]With this in mind, I hope our community can be recognized for how we respond (Ie condemning the acts, coming together in solidarity and yes, moving on), rather than allowing the acts to define us.[/quote]

    Agreed cycirn.

  8. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]The notion that they will simply disappear if we ignore them is in itself a prejudgement and may or may not be accurate. How do we know that ignored, they will not escalate ? [/quote]

    The more attention is brought to these acts of vandalism, etc., the more they will continue…

  9. rusty49

    “The more attention is brought to these acts of vandalism, etc., the more they will continue…”

    ERM, exactly, as evidenced by the last two incidences.

  10. JustSaying

    [quote][u]CIty of Davis “Police Log”[/u]:
    “09:05 . VANDALISM . 120709040
    Occurred at Holmes Junior High School on Drexel Dr., Davis. SCHOOL1 REQ’ING OFC CONTACT FOR 594 TO A PICNIC TABLE THE BY GYM. A SWASTIKA WAS BURNED INTO THE TABLE. . Disposition: Report Taken.”

    –From DAVIS POLICE DEPARTMENT Media Bulletin (24 Hours — Tuesday, July 10, 2012)
    [/quote]

  11. David M. Greenwald

    “The more attention is brought to these acts of vandalism, etc., the more they will continue…”

    That’s not the view of the police or any of the experts who have spoken on this subject

  12. JustSaying

    I’m struggling with the notion of what makes a “known hate incident” or a “hate crime” since both terms have been used in the last couple weeks. Here’s an excerpt from the Los Angeles Police website page regarding hate crimes:[quote]“Some hate-motivated offenses do not rise to the level of a crime that can be charged in court. These acts are called hate incidents. Although they may not meet the definition of a crime, they leave individuals feeling victimized and can escalate into criminal behavior.

    Free speech is protected by the United States Constitution and is not a hate crime. However, speech that carries a credible threat of violence against an individual or group of people is criminal.

    The following acts are examples of hate crimes under California law when they are motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability:

    –Using force or threatening to use force to injure, intimidate, or interfere with another person who is exercising his or her constitutional rights

    –Defacing or damaging another person’s property to intimidate or interfere with that person’s free exercise of his or her constitutional rights

    –Desecrating a religious symbol or displaying a swastika on another person’s property with the intent to terrorize another person

    –Vandalizing, burning, or bombing a church, synagogue, mosque, or other house of worship to terrorize other persons”[/quote]It seems that the intention of the vandal and the location of the act is a determinant required for a vandalism to be classified as a “hate crime.”

    So, where do the three Davis incidents fit on this spectrum? Do we know until the investigations produce something other than the vandalism. Is the noose even vandalism, let alone a crime, or is it free speech protected by the Constitution in the absence of a “credible threat of violence against an individual or group”?

    We seem to agree about the nastiness of this act, but are we jumping to conclusions about the criminal nature of it given what we know (or don’t know) about the perpetrators and their intentions?

  13. David M. Greenwald

    The noose fits Penal Code 11411(a): Any person who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life, on the private property of another, without authorization, for the purpose of terrorizing the owner or occupant of that private property or in reckless disregard of the
    risk of terrorizing the owner or occupant of that private property, or who hangs a noose, knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life, on the property of a primary school, junior high school, high school, college campus, public park, or place of employment, for the purpose of terrorizing any person who attends or works at the school, park, or place of employment, or who is otherwise associated with the school, park, or place of employment, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment for the first conviction or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment for any subsequent conviction.”

    The others I’m not as sure on.

  14. JustSaying

    So, seems clear none of these incidents can be called hate crimes under PC 11411 until and unless investigation shows that the purpose was “terrorizing any person who attends or works at the school, park, or place of employment, or who is otherwise associated with the school, park, or place of employment,” agree?

    This PC section goes on to provide quite a restrictive definition of terrorizing:[quote] “…’terrorize’ means to cause a person of ordinary emotions and sensibilities to fear for personal safety.” [/quote]Given the law’s requirement to prove specific intentions of the vandal as well as to prove a reasonable person’s terror standard of “fear for personal safety,” it doesn’t look likely that these acts will end up as hate crimes.

  15. medwoman

    Elaine

    [quote]The more attention is brought to these acts of vandalism, etc., the more they will continue…[/quote]

    An honest question for you. You did not seem to feel the same way about the graffiti incident in which you had a very great deal to say about what your saw as the deleterious effects of graffiti in your neighbor hood and in the town in general and seemed to be very willing to condemn those who were putting up the graffiti.
    I am unclear why you are seemingly taking a different stance now and feel that we should not be talking about this. Can you explain to me why these are different in your mind ?

  16. jimt

    “At approximately 9:30 AM, Davis Police personnel responded to Holmes Jr. High School for a Hate Incident/Vandalism/Arson. Between July 6th and today’s date, someone charred the impression of a Swastika on one of the picnic tables and burned the top of another metal picnic table.”

    How is it known that the impression was not present before July 6? Was it first reported to school admins or police on July 6? Maybe it was present for some time prior to July 6; but nobody noticed or bothered to report it?
    I wonder if it may have been done around the same time as the other two incidents?

  17. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]An honest question for you. You did not seem to feel the same way about the graffiti incident in which you had a very great deal to say about what your saw as the deleterious effects of graffiti in your neighbor hood and in the town in general and seemed to be very willing to condemn those who were putting up the graffiti.
    I am unclear why you are seemingly taking a different stance now and feel that we should not be talking about this. Can you explain to me why these are different in your mind ?[/quote]

    At the time, I was strongly supporting a proposed ordinance put forth by the police, that hopefully would have helped them catch inebriated students who are responsible for racist graffiti in my neighborhood. Frankly, I don’t see the inconsistency in my stance that you do…

  18. JustSaying

    Speaking of inconsistencies, then how about the vandalism at the university that’s being called “art” and “speech”? The “artist” will be honored at the Vanguard’s July 26 awards shindig.

    Get your tickets–fascinating speakers also will be part of the program. Good food, too!

  19. David M. Greenwald

    Just to clarify the people honored will be those pepper sprayed and arrested on November 18 for their actions on behalf of free speech and against official oppression in the quad.

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