Police have launched a hate crime investigation after what appeared to be a swastika was found scrawled in graffiti on a window at the Pasadena Community Job Center earlier this week, officials said.
The vandalism at the center, 500 N. Lake Avenue, was reported on Wednesday afternoon, city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
“Police are actively investigating it as a hate crime and vandalism which appears to be a swastika and verbiage, ‘monkey,’” she said. “Police are asking any witnesses to contact them.”
Investigators were also reviewing area surveillance cameras for clues, Derderian said.
It is thought the vandalism occurred between the evening of August 11 and 7 a.m. on August 12, when it was discovered, according to police.
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said he was disturbed by the act.
“I have learned that the city-sponsored day laborer Center on North Lake Avenue was the target of hateful graffiti,” he said.
“Pasadena has largely been spared from the uptick in hate crimes, but when it does happen, we must condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Tornek said. “Our City’s strength is sustained by our diversity, so when one group is targeted we all suffer. We will not tolerate this behavior.”
National Day Laborer Organizing Network Co-Executive Director Pablo Alvarado took to social media two express outrage.
“We don’t know the intentions of the individuals who did it but we want to take it serious, particularly in this moment in the history of our country,” he wrote in a Facebook post left a discussion board dedicated to Pasadena politics.
“We have asked our elected officials to denounce it and to send a clear message to everyone: there is no place for bigotry in our city. We ask Mr. Terry Tornek and Councilmember Victor Gordo, to unequivocally denounce this act of hate.”
Reached for comment, Councilmember Victor Gordo said, “Hate, and symbols of hate, must be rejected and denounced wherever they occur, especially in our city.
“I reject this and know that all people in Pasadena do as well,” he continued. “There is no room in this city for this.”
Alvarado said the NAACP Pasadena Branch had reach out in support and he thanked its leadership.
“Our organization will continue to fight for an inclusive, just, equal, and prosperous city,” according to Alvarado. “Our center will continue to supply our beautiful city with the labor it needs to keep the gardens green, the buildings painted, and the houses clean, among other things. The best way to support our center is by calling and hiring the workers.”
Anyone with information was urged to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
To report a crime or suspicious activity (626) 744-4241.
Check neighborhood crime trends at www.crimemapping.com/map/ca/pasadena