Former Brooklyn Cop Arraigned on 39-Count Indictment for Anti-Semitic Vandalism in Borough Park (VIDEO)
Michael Setiawan, 36, a former New York City police officer, was arraigned on a 39-count indictment charging him with multiple counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, criminal mischief, and making graffiti, in connection with an anti-Semitic graffiti spree in Borough Park earlier this month, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Hate crimes such as these are hurtful and must not be tolerated in a civilized society, particularly in Brooklyn, where we embrace diversity,” the DA said.
Setiawan was arraigned on Friday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Daniel K. Chun via video conference between the courthouse and Bellevue Hospital, where the defendant has been under observation since his arrest on May 4, 2014. He was ordered held on $75,000 bail and to return to court on May 30, 2014. If convicted, the defendant faces up to four years in prison on each of the hate crime charges.
The New York Post reported on Wednesday that when arresting officers asked Setiawan why he vandalized cars, storefronts and a school with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti, he answered, “Because I don’t like those people,” court papers state.
When asked why he didn’t like Jews, Setiawan answered, “Because they’re cheap … When I was a delivery man they never gave me anything,” the papers state, The Post reported.
The indictment covers 15 separate acts of vandalism, including nine which are charged as hate crimes. All of the incidents are alleged to have occurred on the night of May 3, 2014, in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and were discovered by residents. The defendant was caught on camera using pink spray paint to scrawl graffiti on the Bnos Zion Bobov Elementary School. He also tagged multiple vehicles and storefronts.
The Post reported that in addition to swastikas, he scrawled “F-k you Jew” and “Jews ain’t s-t” on the property.
Asked by a reporter if he was an anti-Semite as he walked out a precinct earlier this month, Setiawan answered, “No,” The Post reported.
The case was investigated by detectives assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force. Senior Assistant District Attorney Ian Bronfeld of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Charles Guria, Chief of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the Investigations Division.
Watch security camera footage of former policeman Michael Setiawan scrawling graffiti on the Bnos Zion Bobov Elementary School.