A New York hate crime task force is investigating vandalism at the Waad Hakolel Jewish cemetery in Rochester, the third known case of Jewish cemetery vandalism in the country in recent weeks. Linda So reports.
More than a dozen headstones toppled at Rochester's only Jewish cemetery. The vandalism prompting New York's governor to order a statewide investigation. A hate crime task force is already on the case, although the president of the association managing the cemetery says at this point, vandalism appears to be the only motive. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL PHILLIPS, BRITTON ROAD ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, SAYING: "We are really not at this point considering this a hate crime or anti-semitism but we aren't ruling that out either." Phillips says the stones that were vandalized lacked some of the other specific markers that would make it a hate crime. In other instances, graves have been further defaced with spray paint or urinated on. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL PHILLIPS, BRITTON ROAD ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, SAYING: "You think about where your parents were buried and would you like it if they did that to you? I don't think that goes through their mind when they're doing it." President Trump has condemned the recent threats and vandalism targeting Jewish community centers and cemeteries. Although at times he has questioned whether some perpetrators might be opponents of his seeking to link his new presidency with a rise in anti-Semitism.