Graffiti spray-painted at a Calgary, Canada playground on the day once celebrated as Adolf Hitler’s birthday is being investigated as a hate crime, according to police.
Investigators say someone painted the words “I love Hitler” and other things on the parking lot of the playground at 384 Woodvale Drive S.W.
Historically, Hitler’s birthday was marked on April 20, and the day was a national holiday in Germany under the National Socialist era.
“This incident is being investigated as a hate crime because it is a criminal offence to deface public property and the vandalism is of an offensive nature to the Jewish community," police said in a news release.
“Vandalism is more than a property offence, it often has a lasting emotional impact on people whose homes and properties are damaged, especially if the vandalism indicates that victims have been intentionally targeted due to a personal characteristic or trait.”
Police said evidence of "hate motivation" behind a crime is considered by the courts once a person is found guilty.
If, during sentencing, the judge decided "hate" was a motivating factor, it is considered an aggravating factor and can be added to the criminal’s sentence.
Just over a week ago, police issued a public plea looking for help investigating another possibly "hate-motivated" graffiti "attack", that saw "KKK" and "rat" spray-painted on a person’s home in the northwest.