Reiff Playground in Maspeth has apparently been the target of hate messages since the end of October.
According to NYC Park Advocates, which first reported the story, Reiff Playground has been the site of hateful and vulgar messages on three separate occasions — Nov. 29, Nov. 16 and Oct. 30.
This is part of an ongoing trend of hate crimes and offensive vandalism seen across Queens and New York City in the past month.
It was originally reported that anti-Semitic and anti-police messages allegedly reading “F—k the Jew,” “show money” and “F—k the Police,” along with a swastika, and money symbols and hearts were found spray painted inside the handball courts and play area of the playground located at 59th Drive between Fresh Pond Road and 63rd Street, by a parkgoer just after midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
NYC Parks Advocates has provided photos of the graffiti from the other two occasions.
The vandal or vandals spray painted swastikas on the handball courts and on the “Reiff Playground” entrance sign right outside the park, a picture of a face with “MDMA” (aka ecstasy) written above it on the floor, vulgar sexual messages on the children’s play equipment, the word “GANG” written on a slide in gold spray paint, and the phrases “Death over Dishonor” and “F–k Christ” written in spray paint along the playground’s comfort station.
“We have gotten numerous incidents like this recently across the city. There definitely has been an uptick of racially motivated hate speech,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates. “The Parks Department, once they find out about this stuff, they are very quick to cover it up, but it is still disturbing that people feel comfortable defacing public property like that.”
When QNS went to Reiff Playground on the night of Thursday, Dec. 1, to get photographs of the graffiti, it had already been removed by the Parks Department. All that remained was the remnant of something written in black paint.
Croft said that the 104th Precinct has been notified of the vandalism.