Salt Lake City woman encounters Nazi swastika drawn on sign

"A little bit of fear": Joelle Kanshepolsky says was "taken aback" by the symbol

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - A Salt Lake City woman was shocked to encounter a Nazi swastika Wednesday in Sugarhouse.

Joelle Kanshepolsky says her frozen yogurt run brought her face to face with the symbol of hatred and anti-semetism.

"I saw right in front of me the swastika on the sign," Kanshepolsky said. "And I was disappointed and taken aback by what I just saw."

The graffiti on a parking sign behind the Red Mango located at 1511 East 2100 South hit Joelle especially personally.

"As someone who's Jewish, someone who has a mother that survived the holocaust and lived as a refugee for 15 years in Europe, any time you see the symbol of the swastika it brings up all sorts of pretty negative feelings," Kanshepolsky told ABC4 Utah News. "And a little bit of fear even if it wasn't targeted directly at me."

The Salt Lake Police Department says this is just misdemeanor vandalism, not a hate crime.

"It's not one we would amount to a hate crime unless there were some sort of threat connected to it," Det. Richard Chipping of the SLCPD said. "That generally is where hate crimes, that boundary is crossed when there's threats involved or actually some sort of bullying going on toward a specific person or a group."

The offensive graffiti did not stay up very long. According to a Red Mango employee it was scrubbed off Thursday.

Even though the symbol is gone, Kanshepolsky says the lesson to be learned remains.

"I think it's an opportunity for us to think about what the city needs to make sure that everybody feels safe in this city no matter what their background is," Kanshepolsky said. "And we're assertive and explicit that this is not a city for hate in any way."

The Salt Lake City Police Department says they have not seen an increase in Nazi graffiti overall.

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