Police are searching for a bigoted vandal or vandals who defaced multiple city buses on Friday with a racial slur and the message "white power."
The hateful messages were discovered just before noon on two B13 buses that were in the vicinity of Gateway Drive in East New York, according to police. The MTA said that they'd pulled the buses out of service, adding in a statement that "there is absolutely no place in our system for hate."
Another @MTA bus on the B13 has been vandalized with hateful messages against Blacks! Wow. We deserve a swift investigation and arrest of the person involved!!!#FastForwardNYC #NYCT pic.twitter.com/yxzKHIHdQG
— Progressive Action (@progressiveact) March 22, 2019
The incident comes amid another uptick in reported hate crimes—which have been on the rise both nationally and across the city in the last two years. According to the NYPD, there have been 98 reported hate crimes so far this year, up from 55 at this point in 2018.
Several disturbing messages have also been found inside the subway system this past month, including anti-Semitic graffiti that was scrawled on a poster of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Greenpoint, and a chalk drawing of a noose that was found in Windsor Terrace/Kensington.
The investigation into the bus incident is ongoing, police said.