Police in Spokane, Washington Arrest White Power Activist for Swastika Vandalism at Synagogue
Police in Spokane, Washington have announced the arrest of a 44-year-old man who was being sought in connection with the daubing of Nazi swastikas on a synagogue in the city on Feb. 8.
The man, named as Raymond Bryant, was caught on the security camera system at Temple Beth Shalom in Spokane defacing both the side of the temple and its memorial to the Holocaust. Police seized Bryant at his home on Thursday morning and charged with malicious mischief and harassment.
According to the police, Bryant also admitted to having distributed neo-Nazi leaflets in different neighborhoods of the city. He is reported to be affiliated with at least one white supremacist hate group.
Bryant’s arrest came as synagogue leaders issued a statement thanking Spokane residents for their “amazing response” to the vandalism.
“We remain vigilant in the fight to protect everyone’s right to religious freedom and promote tolerance,” the synagogue said. “We will not let these events deter us from living as Jews in our society.”
The statement continued: “Antisemitism is a strike not against just Jews, but against all who cherish our society for the love and freedoms we have. Many of you have offered support. We are ever grateful. The best response is to educate and speak out against hate crimes of any sort, directed at any person or group. Our society should not tolerate bigotry.”
This month’s outrage marked the second time in recent years that Temple Beth Shalom was vandalized. In 2014, a swastika was painted onto an outer wall during a service on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish community