‘This is horrifying and unacceptable’: Islamophobic graffiti condemned by Astoria senator

Photo courtesy of state Senator Michael Gianaris' office

Astoria state Senator Michael Gianaris called on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to investigate anti-Muslim graffiti that was found over the weekend at an Astoria bus stop as a hate crime.

A photo taken at the bus stop at Ditmars Boulevard and Steinway Street shows a scribble that reads “If you see someone with a turban, chop it off” scrawled on a billboard. 

“This is horrifying and unacceptable, and the NYPD should promptly investigate this incident as a hate crime,” wrote Gianaris in a letter directly to the Police Commissioner James O’Neill. 

Gianaris’ spokesperson said that their office was alerted about the vandalization by a constituent on Saturday, Nov. 23.

“Hate has no home in New York and we cannot tolerate these incidents in our communities. This should be investigated promptly as a hate crime,” said Gianaris in a statement. “Western Queens is among the most diverse places to live on the planet and this does not reflect who we are or what we aspire to be.”

A spokesperson for the NYPD had no record of anyone reporting the graffiti to the 114th Police Precinct and could not yet answer whether it was being investigated as a hate crime. 

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

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