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.