Graffiti Outside Local Playground Says ‘Kill Jews’

Upper West Sider Robert Smallwell came upon some disturbing graffiti at the entrance to a playground located off 89th Street. The playground is down a courtyard behind the apartment building at 587 Amsterdam Avenue between 88th & 89th Streets.

Smallwell says he has attempted to report the graffiti to police but has had some trouble — “I’ve tried to contact 311 & NYPD Hate Crimes Unit (with no results-probably busy with other stuff),” he wrote to us early on Friday.

He continued trying to tell authorities.

“After a half dozen phone calls – to no effect…it seems I have to report the incident to the local precinct in person (on West 100th Street).  I also downloaded the NYC-311 app and was able to text a message (no photos!?!) to 311.  They gave me wrong information on reporting the “hate crime graffiti'”

311 sent him a message that “Your service request has been filed; the confirmation number is 1-1-1567240462. DPR will respond within 3 days. ”

But with the following caveat “(However, Department of Parks and Recreation might not have jurisdiction because it might be a private playground.)”

Smallwell also reported it to the local school, which his son attends.

“This problem of reporting and responsibility should be brought to the attention of our local that Daniel O’Donnell? It should be simple!” Smallwell added.

An NYPD spokesperson said they had not heard about the graffiti. The 24th precinct tells us they will be sending an officer to investigate “in a little while.”

NEWS | 38 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      Three guesses who did this. There should be CCTV footage, waiting to see images…

      • dannyboy says:

        You know?

      • Cato says:

        — “Three guesses who did this.”

        Please tell us who you assume did this. Please.

      • Jill Sears says:

        What are the three guesses?!!!

        • UWSHebrew says:

          Oh, you all know. Just like I know. When I say “know”, I’m 99% sure. And you’re all thinking it, and egging me on to say it, but I won’t. Good try liberal / progessives, good try.

          • dannyboy says:

            I just don’t know, but you as most certain that you do. You also are certain that we all know.

            This explains you, if you can think about it.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            given UWSHEbrew’s history of comments, i can only conclude that he;s making a racist dog-whistle. (and not a very subtle dog whistle — more like a trumpet.) it had to be “those people.”

            well, maybe he’ll prove me wrong. maybe he meant it was White Supremacists.

          • EricaC says:

            I don’t see who you are suggesting you 99% know ….

      • Carnival Canticle says:

        Oh, do tell us at least two of your guesses, O Wise One.

      • UWSGoodJewishBoy says:

        Well? From your comment it’s seems like you know so who is it?

    2. Harold says:

      Same old – same old.

      The prayer before every Jewish holiday:

      “They tried to kill us – we won – lets eat”.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Happy you find humor in antisemitism.

        • Harold says:

          “Happy you find humor in antisemitism.”

          Really? This is antisemitism?

          Jews (which I am one of) always found humor within themselves.
          If you can’t make fun of yourself, you live a very sheltered and boring life.
          Grow up Ish Kabibble. It’s about time.

          • Ted says:

            Kill Jews is about as straightforward as antisemitism gets. Not funny in any context because people do try to kill jews just because their jewish. It starts with things like graffiti and then breaking windows… from there who knows?? No not funny. Not ever funny.

            • Harold says:

              Trying to say that it’s been done before, done now and will be done in the future, and yet, we survived, and the ones that are trying to kill us did not.
              Humor is the essence of survival. You lose the power to make fun of yourself, you lose the power to survive.

            • NotImpressed says:

              Don’t worry Harold. Most of us got your point.
              It’s very sad to see Jews without a sense of humor. That’s one of the things that has sustained us.

        • A. T(uff) Nut says:

          Re: “Happy you find humor in antisemitism.”

          1) Comedians have ALWAYS used clever humor as a response to despots:

          a) Charlie Chaplin’s famed portrayal of Hitler as a goose-stepping “Adenoid Hynkel” in 1940’s “The Great Dictator”;

          b) Melvin Kaminsky’s (Mel Brooks) hilarious turning Hitler into a flouncing dandy in “The Producers”, plus its “Springtime For Hitler” number (“Don’t be shtoopid / Be a shmartie / Come and join / the Nazi Party”).

          c) AND Brooks’s remarks to an interviewer from Germany’s “Der Spiegel”: “by using the medium of comedy, we can try to rob Hitler of his posthumous power and myths.”

          d) and dozens more, go to Wikipedia and search for “Adolf_Hitler_in_popular_culture#Comedy”

          • UWSHebrew says:

            I can’t stand “The Producers”. I think Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein is brilliant, and Blazing Saddles is ok, but never liked The Producers. I get the point of it in the context of the movie, but even to mention Hitler after the atrocities of WWII were known (unlike Chaplin’s taking on of Hitler in 1938), is distasteful to say the least, and unfortunately, is par for the course for some Jewish American comedians that continues until this day (i.e. Sarah Silverman’s Hitler appearance on Conan O’Brien, which I thought was disgusting). Many American Jews who were not personally affected by familial loss in the Holocaust are simply not sensitive to those that were. They sometimes behave and speak like idiots on the topic. To joke about Hitler makes you at best, a fool, I don’t care if you’re Jewish or not, famous or not. Imagine hearing a “comedian” joke about the people who jumped out of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Makes you sick right? It does for me. Same goes for victims of genocide, be it Jews of WWII, or the Armenians of WW1, Cambodia or Rwanda. Hitler was not and is not funny.

            • Independent says:

              I was quite surprised when a woman I know whose parents were survivors of the Nazi genocide told me that The Producers was not just one of her own favorite movies but one of her late mother’s as well.

              For what it’s worth, I read an article several years ago in which a conversation as follows was recounted between Mel Brooks and a young grandson of his that had seen the (in)famous parody work in-question. (Paraphrasing from memory.)

              Child: I’m confused, was Hitler supposed to be a good guy or a bad guy?

              Brooks: A bad guy. A very bad guy.

              Child: Then why did he make me laugh?

              Brooks: Hitler didn’t make you laugh. I made you laugh.

    3. NPK says:

      Shouldn’t this be reported to Helen Rosenthal? She is the councilperson for our district.

      • UWS-er says:

        WSR tweeted about it and included her. She hasn’t responded. She retweeted something about the Coney Island Boardwalk though. Priorities.

    4. Ellen says:

      Don’t count on anyone–paint over it yourself. And just let someone try to stop you!

    5. ellen says:

      And by the way, if the graffiti said “Kill Blacks”, trust me, it would be on the evening news.
      Which would be appropriate.

    6. Annoying says:

      Just remove it yourself. Other stupid kids will start writing next to it.

    7. xxx says:

      Try Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

      she’s usually super efficient

    8. robert says:

      May or may not be
      There are several people in the area that are know to the local police precincts and local mental health authorities that have done this in the past. In those case it was not anti Semitism it was just a nut. The one in particular that comes to mind did this on various phone booths park areas etc. He was picked up but refused further help with his mental health issues. This has happened several times over the past number of years.
      Lets all take a deep breath here and get some actual facts. Hate crimes of any kind or not acceptedly, but thinks need to be verified. Since Trump has been elected there have been several media blitzs on hate crimes, but when they turnout to be unfounded there is almost no media coverage. Remember the swastikas in the park in Brooklyn with Hitler and Trumps names. Media & politics went full bore, till it can out that the person was trying to say Trump=Hitler and it was not anti-Semitic

    9. I’m disgusted by this incident of anti-Semitism and unfortunately it’s part of a sharp rise of hate crimes nationwide. I am indeed the state representative for this area and I just tried to contact Mr. Smallwell. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone by that name in our constituent database so I’m posting here.

      The NYPD, Parks, and 311 are all city agencies that I don’t have direct jurisdiction over but I’ll be following up with all of them about this. Thanks Avi for including the complaint number. I’m available to Mr. Smallwell and all my other constituents outside regular business hours and on holidays at During business hours please call my office at (212)866-3970.

      • Independent says:

        Apologies for the length of this comment. I tried to keep it as brief as possible but there was just too much that I felt was too critical not to include.

        Assemblyman O’Donnell wrote, “I’m disgusted by this incident of anti-Semitism and unfortunately it’s part of a sharp rise of hate crimes nationwide.”

        First, do we really know that there actually has been such a rise in the incidence of “hate crimes” nationwide? How well does this claim, which has been repeated many times now by those on the anti-Trump side of the national political divide, stand-up to scrutiny?

        I know that there has been a sharp rise in the number of reports — more often than not highly sensationalized and nakedly politicized– of incidents labeled as “hate crimes”. The fact is, however, that many, if not most, of these have turned-out to have been hoaxes or at least very different from what they were presented as being. (Specifically, in ways that do not support the narrative being promoted.) The comment just above, #8 by “robert”, points this out and correctly notes that “when they turnout to be unfounded there is almost no media coverage”.

        How many people recall, for example, that the individual behind what may very well have been the bulk of the spate of bomb threats that were made against Jewish targets last year turned-out to have been a mentally disturbed Jewish teenager? Or that the man charged with making no fewer than eight of the remaining such threats is black and a former Left-wing journalist?

        A web site that bills itself as “a database of hate crime hoaxes in the USA” is, at last check, up to number 335 in their count of such instances, the last one dated April 10th. Thanks to a dissident blogger I follow, I am aware of what may be the latest instance, from May 22nd, of what has become nothing less than a total cliché by now:
        Black former student at Eastern Michigan University is ordered to pay $2,000 for scrawling racist KKK graffiti on campus

        But let’s say that there has, in fact, been “a sharp rise of hate crimes nationwide”. Still, how could the Assemblyman have known (at least at the time he posted his comment) whether the specific incident reported here was connected to such a nationwide increase?

        As both a Jew as well as a constituent (albeit a dissident one) of the Assemblyman, I appreciate the commitment he has demonstrated toward doing what he can to see that this incident be properly investigated and that he does not want to take anti-Semitism lightly. Continuing to repeat a tendentious claim that is at best dubious, while completely ignoring the continually mounting evidence against it, however, does no one any service. It unjustly maligns and foments ill will toward white gentiles (particularly conservative and non-cosmopolitan ones), while breeding resentment and animosity toward Jews and other minorities. To say nothing of the other danger that sounding such false alarms creates for us: the same one that falsely crying “Wolf!” created for that foolish lad whose tragic fate was immortalized by Aesop.

    10. V says:

      Contact Southern poverty law Center. They keep track of hate crimes.

      • robert says:

        While they have done great things the SPLC has changed, For example they use to just list hate groups like the KKK as one organization.
        No they claim each individual “chapter” of the KKK as a separate hate group allowing them to a huge recent increase in the numbers of these abhorrent groups.
        There is to much hate already in the world to be playing political games with it

    11. jd says:

      311 is a joke. Don’t even bother.

    12. ccountey says:

      UWSHebrew – ignorance and prejudice cut both ways unfortunately

      • UWSHebrew says:

        since when is stating KILL ____ “ignorance”? That’s incitement to deadly violence, plain and simple, no matter what group of people are targeted. Even in Germany during the 1930’s, the Nazis would graffiti on storefronts “Don’t buy from Jews!”, but not the word “KILL”

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          so since the threat against we Jews is so imminent, and you are “99% sure” you know who has issued this threat, isn’t it incumbent on you to let us know? so we can protect ourselves?

    13. DR ED GOLBERG says:


    14. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      the state of hate groups in America at the end of 2017, from the Southern Poverty Law Center:

      “In 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found that the number of hate groups rose to 954 from 917 the prior year, up 4 percent. Within the white supremacist movement, neo-Nazi groups saw the greatest growth — soaring by 22 percent from 99 to 121. Anti-Muslim groups also rose for a third straight year. After tripling from 2015 to 2016, they grew by another 13 percent, from 101 chapters to 114 in 2017. Anti-immigrant groups also leapt, from 14 to 22 in 2017.

      Overall, white supremacist groups experienced a net loss of one chapter, largely because Ku Klux Klan groups fell dramatically, from 130 to 72 in 2017. It’s clear that the new generation of white supremacists is rejecting the hooded movement that was founded after the Civil War.”

    15. Bb says:

      There is more info about this mans unsuccessful 311 call than anything else In the article…