Central Park striker shouts ‘Kanye 2024’ in anti-Semitic attack

Manhattan police were still searching Saturday for a suspect who allegedly shouted “numerous” anti-Semitic statements as he attacked a 63-year-old man in Central Park, officials said.

Police say at one point the assailant shouted, “Kanye 2024” – a reference to the notorious anti-Semitic rapper’s bid for the US presidency in 2024.

Kanye West, now known as Ye, recently had dinner with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago and proclaimed on a podcast earlier this month that he “loves” Hitler and “loves” the Nazis. His Twitter account was restricted – again – earlier this month when he posted an image of the Star of David intertwined with a swastika.

The assault victim was walking in the park early Wednesday evening when the assailant struck him from behind, according to a statement from the New York Police Department (NYPD).

The man fell to the ground and suffered a broken hand and a chipped tooth, police said. He was hospitalized in stable condition.

Footage of the suspect was captured on surveillance video. He appeared to be in his 40s and fled on a bicycle, according to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force. A small cart was attached to the bike with a sign reading “Hungry Disabled,” police said.

The New York/New Jersey branch of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was “horrified” by the anti-Semitic aggression, said ADL regional director Scott Richman.

“Crimes like these have a ripple effect in communities and cause unique trauma in addition to physical harm,” the ADL noted in a tweet.

The attack demonstrates how Ye’s anti-Semitic rhetoric has perpetuated violence and spurred others to action, Richman told CNN. “When public figures with huge platforms fan the flames of anti-Semitism, people will copy it and start to think that’s okay,” he said.

Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased last year, according to an annual report by the ADL. Anti-Semitic incidents reported to the ADL in 2021 – 2,717 – were 34% higher than in 2020 and the highest number since the organization began tracking anti-Semitic attacks in 1979.

Anti-Semitic attacks have also increased in New York, with a 125% increase last month compared to November 2021, according to data released by the NYPD and reported by ABC 7 News of New York. New York police this month arrested a man accused of shooting a Jewish father and son with a BB gun outside a kosher supermarket in Staten Island, CBS reported.


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