Chicago police make arrest in antisemitic hate crime spree concentrating on synagogues, Jewish faculties


Chicago police arrested a person Tuesday over what authorities are describing as an antisemitic hate crime spree final weekend concentrating on synagogues and Jewish faculties. 

Shahid Hussain – a 39-year-old with a prolonged felony report and historical past of psychological well being points – is charged with 4 counts of felony hate crime, two felony counts of felony defacement, and two felony counts of felony harm to property, Chicago police Superintendent David Brown stated Tuesday.

Cook dinner County prosecutors accuse Hussain of spray-painting swastikas on two synagogues and two excessive faculties in Chicago’s West Rogers Park Sunday. Police additionally responded to a 911 name in regards to the man yelling antisemitic slurs and threats, Brown stated. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that teenagers in a dormitory witnessed Hussain wearing a cape with a swastika exterior yelling about Jews and breaking lights. 


“I encourage anybody to take this moment also to bring more good and more light to the world and in this way we will make the world a better place,” Rabbi Levi Notik of the F.R.E.E. Synagogue stated at a press convention Tuesday. “The message is that we will stand stronger and build even stronger and greater and this way bring unity to our community, unity to our lives and allow each of us to prosper.” 

Shahid Hussain 

Shahid Hussain 
(Supply: Chicago Police)

The incidents got here days after Holocaust Remembrance Day and as antisemitism is on the rise throughout the nation. After Hussain’s arrest, a Jewish man was threatened whereas on his solution to synagogue by a number of males in a automobile who then proceeded to interrupt a automotive window. Police are nonetheless investigating. 

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“We always have to shine a light on hate. And we should never give any room for any of us to hide from what hateful people do,” Brown stated. “It is the lesson learned through history that when hate is left unchecked, left to prosper, and fear sets in to those victimized by hate, hate flourishes. You can put hate in its rightful place. All of us standing here shining a bright, bright light on hateful acts.” 

Throughout an arraignment listening to Tuesday, Decide Barbara Dawkins set bond at $250,000. If Hussain is launched, the choose ordered him to avoid Jewish establishments. His subsequent court docket date is Feb. 7.

Rabbi Levi Notik of the F.R.E.E. Synagogue in Chicago says a swastika was spray-painted on the side of the building over the weekend. F.R.E.E. stands for Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe. 

Rabbi Levi Notik of the F.R.E.E. Synagogue in Chicago says a swastika was spray-painted on the facet of the constructing over the weekend. F.R.E.E. stands for Buddies of Refugees of Japanese Europe. 
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“Hate has no place in this neighborhood and bigotry will not be tolerated,” fiftieth Ward Chicago Alderman Debra Silverstein stated. “We can only stand strong when everyone feels safe. Safe to practice their religion, safe to pray in synagogues, safe to shop in kosher stores, attend Jewish schools, safe to live our lives. Our diversity is our strength. That means an attack on any of us is an attack on all of us.” 

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The crimes Hussain is accused of illustrate a “textbook case of hate,” Dawkins stated, noting that although his actions concerned no bodily violence, he carried out psychological violence by inflicting worry. 

Hussain had been on parole for a 2017 forgery case and 2017 housebreaking out of DuPage County, Cook dinner County State’s Legal professional Kim Foxx stated on the press convention, promising extra particulars quickly. 

“I want to reiterate that those who engage in hate will be held accountable. Those who seek to do harm, to destabilize communities, will be held accountable,” Foxx stated. “And that accountability doesn’t just start here in the community, but in the courtroom, and it will be done because of the work, the collaborative effort of the community, our elected officials, as well as law enforcement.” 

The Solar Instances reported that Hussain was most not too long ago sentenced in September to 12 months of probation after pleading responsible to a stalking cost. He pleaded responsible in 2017 to a felony depend of forgery and was sentenced to 2 years within the Illinois Division of Corrections. On the identical day that case ended, the sentence within the 2017 housebreaking case was amended to a concurrent sentence. 

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The defendant additionally beforehand pleaded responsible in 2014 to a felony depend of aggravated driving below the affect and was sentenced to 90 days in Cook dinner County Jail and 12 months of probation, based on the newspaper. He reportedly repeatedly violated the phrases of his probation. 


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