Graffiti spray-painted at a Calgary playground on the day once celebrated as Adolf Hitler’s birthday is being investigated as a hate crime, according to police.
Investigators say at some point between 9 p.m. on Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, someone painted the words “I love Hitler” and other profanity on the parking lot of the playground at 384 Woodvale Drive S.W.
Historically, Hitler’s birthday was marked on April 20, and the day was a national holiday in Germany under the Nazi regime.
“This incident is being investigated as a hate crime because it is a criminal offence to deface public property and the vandalism is of an offensive nature to the Jewish community,” police said in a news release.
“Vandalism is more than a property offence, it often has a lasting emotional impact on people whose homes and properties are damaged, especially if the vandalism indicates that victims have been intentionally targeted due to a personal characteristic or trait.”
Police said evidence of hate motivation behind a crime is considered by the courts once a person is found guilty.
If, during sentencing, the judge decided hate was a motivating factor, it is considered an aggravating factor and can be added to the criminal’s sentence.
Just over a week ago, police issued a public plea looking for help investigating another possibly hate-motivated graffiti attack, that saw “KKK” and “rat” spray-painted on a person’s home in the northwest.
Anyone with information on the graffiti is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or to contact Crime Stoppers.