Vandalism 'Beyond Belief' at Jewish Cemetery
Cops say at least 100 headstones toppled
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2017 2:53 AM CST
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Northeast Philadelphia Police Detective Timothy McIntyre, center, dusts for fingerprints on one of the headstones that were knocked down.   (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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(Newser) – Cops in Philadelphia have vowed to track down the vandals who toppled large numbers of headstones in a Jewish cemetery over the weekend. Initial estimates put the number of graves vandalized in the Mount Carmel at around 100. CBS Philadelphia reports that the estimate has risen to 300. "It's criminal. This is beyond vandalism," Northeast Detectives Capt. Shawn Thrush tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's beyond belief." Police say the damage was discovered Sunday morning after a man called to report that three of his relatives' headstones had been knocked over, the AP reports.

The Anne Frank Center said it was "sickened, sickened, sickened" by the vandalism and urged President Trump to deliver a nationally televised speech outlining how he plans to fight anti-Semitism, as well as "Islamophobia and other rising forms of hate," the New York Daily News reports. Mayor Mike Kenny offered condolences to affected families. "Hate is not permissible in Philadelphia," he said. "I encourage Philadelphians to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and to show them that we are the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection." (After a similar attack in Missouri last week, Muslim-Americans started a fundraiser.)

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