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Summerlin shocked by hate symbol on park sidewalk

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Updated: 3/14/2013 11:01 pm
A symbol that has become an offensive insignia of intolerance across the world upset parents at a children's park in Summerlin and now police are investigating. News 3's Sandra Gonzalez joins us with more on the response to a swastika on the sidewalk.

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) — A swastika was painted on the sidewalk of a children’s park in Summerlin, upsetting a Jewish family.

A picture was sent to News 3 and a complaint was made to the Summerlin Community Association prompting immediate response to clean the symbol off.

Jewish organizations were also contacted and then police who are investigating.

While the crew quickly arrived to clean off the black paint of a marking that evokes so much emotion, many families at the park were still surprised that it was there.

Avi Cohen, a Jewish father stared at the symbol still slightly visible after it was washed, with disbelief.

“Every Jewish will feel the same kind of the, that's the background of the Jewish people what's happened back in those days. I don't want to go into details but it's a very emotional moment,” Cohen said.

Cohen says his children are too young to understand the symbol, but one day he’ll have to explain.

Paul Davis brought his grandchildren, and he too was disturbed knowing that someone regardless of age would put that symbol next to a child’s playground.

“I hope the adults are intelligent enough to teach their children that that's wrong, and the children themselves aren't going to understand what it is and what the symbol means and the parents need to just educate them in a way that's healthy,” Davis said.

He and other parents were glad the crew responded so quickly to get rid of the graffiti and wipe out that image.

“That's the worst thing because it's a children's park and it doesn't make any sense to me, whether it's kids or whoever is doing this, putting swastikas on the sidewalks,” said Leo Barragan with Quality Maintenance and Remodeling Inc.

He says once the water dries the symbol should be gone, but it will always be memorable to the parent who photographed it and to Avi Cohen, as a terrible part of history so many hope will never be forgotten.

Hate crimes have to meet certain criteria, and Metro at this time is still investigating.

The Anti-Defamation League of Las Vegas says it hasn’t heard of a similar case since 2011 at UNLV, but that one case is one too many.
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