A hate crime investigation has been launched into a series of offensive messages found scrawled early Saturday onto cars on the UC Davis campus.
UC Davis police found eight cars with their tires slashed and five others etched with religious slurs in a campus parking lot. A man was seen running through an apartment complex around the same time of the vandalism, KOVR-TV reported.
“I am deeply troubled and disappointed that the campus community has experienced another incident that included damaged property and, even more grievously, offensive and disparaging slurs,” Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a statement. “This is conduct most unbecoming and completely against our principles of community.”
In January, members of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi at UC Davis found swastikas sprayed in red paint on their house.
At the time, a coalition of students and campus organizations at UC Davis condemned the display, saying it reminded them “that anti-Semitism, along with all other forms of hate, including, but not limited to, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny, still exist and are rampant trans-nationally and on our university campuses.”
The weekend vandalism follows a series of hate crimes reported on the UC Davis campus in the past year.
In May, a rock was thrown into a dorm room window and a flag was found hanging from the ceiling. UC Davis did not identify the flag, but called the incident a hate crime. Two months later, a racial symbol and written remarks were found in a men’s restroom stall.
In September, UC Davis took a hate crime report after racial remarks were found scribbled on a sign-sheet.
UC Davis said it takes hate crimes seriously and condemns all incidents.
“Each of us has a responsibility to build and maintain a culture and climate based on mutual respect and caring,” Katehi said. “No matter what religious, political or personal beliefs we hold, as members of a university community we have an obligation to treat each other with respect and dignity.”
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