— Mikey Franklin (@mikeyfranklin) January 7, 2017
Police in Maryland have begun an investigation after a note containing Nazi imagery was left on a car belonging to a Jewish couple who had recently displayed a “Black Lives Matter” banner.
About 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Rockville police responded to Azalea Drive after a woman found the note on her car, which had also been egged, the police department said in a statement posted to Facebook.
The note was left after the woman, Sonya Franklin, and her husband, Mikey Franklin, hanged a “Black Lives Banner” banner from the front of their condo. Though the couple removed the banner on Friday at the request of their condo association, which doesn’t permit banners on the building, the note referenced the sign.
“You have kept your racist anti white cop hating banner even after Dallas and the torture of the disabled white boy,” the note said, referencing the July shooting of five police officers in that city and the recent beating of a white man by four black people that was broadcast on Facebook.
“Your lack of care and racism is very annoying and disgraceful,” the note continued. “And for this we would like to award you a gold star. Enjoy the mayhem.”
The note included an image of a gold star like those that Jews were forced in wear in Nazi Germany, as well as the word “Jude,” which is German for “Jewish.”
Mikey Franklin said he and his wife put up the banner “several weeks ago” and are Jewish.
“We were targeted not just as Jews but for supporting Black Lives Matter,” he said.
On Sunday, in comments to BuzzFeed, a Rockville police sergeant seemed unwilling to characterize the note as anti-Semitic.
“‘There’s nothing in there that is referenced that is anti-Semitic,’ [Sgt. Christopher] Peck said, adding that he was unsure what the word ‘Jude’ meant,” BuzzFeed reported.
Mikey Franklin was shocked by the response, saying, “It was so obviously an anti-Semitic act, to be told by police that it wasn’t was quite galling.” Rockville police said Monday that the initial comments were “based on incomplete information and were incorrect.”
“As the investigation progressed, the incident was recognized as a hate crime,” Bob Rappoport, the acting police chief, said in a statement. “RCPD takes this and all hate crimes seriously.”
Mikey Franklin said he immigrated to the United States from Britain four years ago and believes that rhetoric related to the election of Donald Trump is behind such hate crimes.
“I have really enjoyed being a Jew in America,” he said. “This was something of an unpleasant wake-up call.”
Police asked that anyone with information about the incident contact them at 240-314-8938.