The Nashville Police Department is searching for two suspects who allegedly spray-painted swastikas and “hate messages” on several homes in the Sylvan Park neighborhood in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A doorbell camera captured one of the suspects running on to someone’s porch, spray-painting the camera, ripping down a flag, then vandalizing the house.
Five homes on Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho Avenues, as well as Westlawn Drive, were vandalized shortly after midnight.
Images posted in a Facebook group for the Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association showed multiple swastikas, “white power,” and other messages that were spray-painted on the homes. Watch video of one of the alleged vandals:
Police described both suspects as white males who had their faces covered.
“Nashville stands united against the hate and bigotry these disgusting acts represent,” Mayor John Nash tweeted on Sunday.
“Grateful to Chief Drake & his team for their ongoing work to track down those responsible and hold them accountable. We will not tolerate antisemitism or discrimination of any kind in our city.”
The police chief ordered increased patrols in the Sylvan Park neighborhood and other areas with Jewish institutions in Nashville.
Nashville is home to the “largest Jewish community in Tennessee,” according to the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. About 11,000 people lived in Jewish households in Nashville and Middle Tennessee in 2015, a study by Brandeis University found.
Antisemitism is on the rise in the United States and the rest of the world. The Anti-Defamation League recorded a record high 2,717 antisemitic incidents in 2021, including assaults, harassment, and vandalism.
Police are urging residents of the Sylvan Park neighborhood to check their home surveillance cameras for evidence that might be useful. Anyone who recognizes the suspects or has information about the vandalism can contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.