Swastika found on trash can in Highland Park prompts police investigation

The Highland Park Police Department is investigating an incident of antisemitic vandalism, according to a statement by city officials.

On Friday, a Highland Park resident found a swastika and other antisemitic messages created with painters tape on a trash can on the north side of the city.

The Police Department will be “implementing additional patrols throughout the city” in response to the incident, Highland Park officials announced in a statement published Saturday on the city’s Facebook page.

“Violent threats have no place in our country, state, or city, and will not be tolerated,” the statement said. “Reports of such hate crimes are of great concern. The police department will continue to work closely with partner agencies to ensure the continued safety of our community.”

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering tweeted Friday afternoon in response to the incident.

“This act of hatred, bigotry, and cowardice has no place in our community,” she wrote. “I condemn it in the strongest terms possible.”

Rotering added that Highland Park’s public safety officials, City Council and staff members take the matter “very seriously” and are investigating.

Highland Park is home to a significant Jewish population and at least three synagogues. Several Jewish foundations and businesses are also based in Highland Park.

The city asked residents with any information to share with the police by calling the public safety nonemergency line at 847-432-7730.

“Our city is built on principles of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect for all people, regardless of their background and beliefs,” Rotering wrote. “Antisemitism, or any form of discrimination, goes against the fabric of who we are and the values we hold dear.”