Neo-nazis deface Los Angeles city councilman’s office

by Amaury Nora

Three swastikas and an anti-Semitic manifesto were found outside Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss’ Sherman Oaks office. The three swastikas were printed on 8½ by 11 paper and were taped to the front door of the building. On a separate piece of paper there was a short manifesto. According to the Los Angeles Times the manifesto read:

“We have no time to listen to Jewish American children!!! If you don’t believe us, just try talking to us.” Then there is an obscene reference to “a homoerotic cop” and what that cop should do to Weiss. It concludes “Heil Weiss!”

x-posted on Para Justicia y Libertad

The photos below are what councilman’s staff spotted glued on his front doors. One flyer was written in German and the other was written in English.

According to ABC 7, Police say they have a good idea who did it, but are not releasing that information yet. Capt. Jim Miller, LAPD:

“We have located a witness who observed someone about 6 a.m. this morning posting these materials. Based on that description, and some other incidents that have occurred involving the council office in the previous days, we believe we have identified the suspect in the case and we’re working further towards his apprehension.”

This was obvious a hate targeted at Weiss, not only because he is Jewish but also because of his strong ties to the Jewish community. As hate crimes are suddenly becoming a national past-time, the Great Decider decided to veto the expansion of the hate-crime law, stating that “his senior advisors” are recommending that he veto the bill. Sadly, the House vote fell short of the two-thirds majority that would be necessary to enact the bill over Bush’s veto.

In the Senate, the expansion of the bill is named after Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student whose fatal 1998 beating helped inspire the legislation. Shepard’s parents were among those who have lobbied for the bill’s passage.

Also spurring the measure were other high-profile incidents, including the 1999 shooting attack on a Jewish community center in the San Fernando Valley by a white supremacist.

The bill would have expanded the definition of a hate crime, which would have broaden the federal authority to aid state and local law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting hate crimes motivated by race, religion, national origin and color, as well as sexual orientation, gender and disability.

It was attacks like the one that occurred one year ago, when two neo-Nazi teenagers – David Tuck and Keith Turner – tortured an innocent Latino that the hate-crimes legislation was created for.

David Tuck, 18, a neo-Nazi roughneck with a reputation for racist outbursts, confronted the Latino teen, with whom he had previously consumed a cocktail of vodka, marijuana, cocaine and Xanax, a prescription anti-anxiety medication, and dragged him outside. With the assistance of his friend Robert Turner, 17, Tuck then commenced a four- to five-hour beating in which the victim was stripped, kicked with steel-toed boots, and severely sodomized with a patio-umbrella pole. Finally, Tuck and Turner stood their victim against a fence and poured bleach all over his body. According to prosecutors, Tuck at one point also attempted to slash something into the semi-conscious victim’s chest and burned him with cigarettes. Witnesses say Tuck yelled ethnic slurs and shouted, “White power!” during the attack.

In fact, it was because this case that Congress decided to expand the hate crimes law. The federal government was unable to use existing hate crime laws to prosecute his attackers because the assault took place on private property. Now that Bush vetoed the bill, it sends a clear message to every xenophobic white supremacist nut case that they are allowed to beat their victim in their home because the federal government won’t be able touch them.

This just illustrates that this country has little regard in provide any type of justice to counter not only the rising tide of anti-Hispanic hatred, but the rising number violent hate crimes throughout this country.

20 replies »

  1. Great post.

    As I note in my post from yesterday, I’m a bit uneasy with the concept underlying hate crimes laws. To some extent, I think the Tuck-Turner case helps make my point. Why in the hell would we need additional legislation to address those two? If our justice system were functioning properly they’re never see the light of day again, at a minimum. The idea that you need additional legislation is de facto proof that something large and systemic is broken. Hate crimes laws aren’t systemic solutions, they’re tactical, reactive quick-fixes – the band-aid on the proverbial sucking chest wound.

    Now, all this said, I acknowledge in that post that I’m not seeing any great injustice in the legislation, either. The people it targets are richly deserving of every bad thing we can legally do to them, and if it takes hate crimes laws within our current badly broken system to see that they get some measure of the justice they deserve, fine.

    I guess I just long for a system where the law and law enforcement agencies do their jobs effectively. In that world, hate crimes legislation is a moot point.

  2. “David Tuck and Keith Turner were both convicted of aggravated sexual assault. Tuck received a life sentence; Turner got 90 years.”


    “In fact, it was because this case that Congress decided to expand the hate crimes law. The federal government was unable to use existing hate crime laws to prosecute his attackers because the assault took place on private property. Now that Bush vetoed the bill, it sends a clear message to every xenophobic white supremacist nut case that they are allowed to beat their victim in their home because the federal government won

  3. I have a problem with Hate Crimes laws too. “Hate Crimes” laws are redundant, as this is just out and out Terrorism. Let USA PATRIOT handle this crap.

    We need to start dealing with these Terrorists as Terrorists.

    Hate Crimes laws somehow give Terrorists a pass.

  4. I’m not sure how hate crime laws give terrorists a pass. Seems like the same as saying that jaywalking laws give shoplifters a pass.

    I see the point I think you’re trying to make, though, and it suggests to me that we have a real problem with how we think about and address “terrorism.” Sadly, that’s a word that has been appropriated to forward some unproductive political agendas, and in the process we’ve begun using the term in ways that conjure more heat than light.

  5. The problem is “law-enforcement” agencies do not enforce laws based on the sheer nature of the crime, in this case a hateful attack on another person. Many enforcers take personal judgement in carrying out the arrest, or the ultimate trial and punishment. Some officials regard hate attacks on “certain” groups or individuals as OK. So in their bigoted hearts, they’ll give a leniant sentence. The hate crimes laws make an act more heinous when it is determined the motivation was hate. My partner and i were burglarized, and though the mere act was burglary, the motivation was hate-based as we personally saw in the behavior of the people we knew had committed the act. Further corroborated when the police did finally catch one of them. But in those days there were no hate crimes. What resulted in 3 years probation, 3 counts posession of stolen property could have been a much heavier sentence if the hate aspet were factored in. Hate motivations are an amplifier to a basic crime. Vandalism with hate is more heinous than vandalism alone.

  6. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, or it’s pre-coffee stupids…

    I don’t think neo-nazis did it. Perhaps a disgruntled Jewish person did. The tone of the note on the door sounds more like they were speaking for the office. “Our (the office) Policy: We (Weiss’ office) have no time to speak to Jewish children…” They were writing a backhanded mission statement for Weiss’ office. Perhaps the perpetrator had dealings with the office and left unhappy, thinking that it was because they were Jewish.

    Secondly, neo-nazis are a little more committed to their cause than to just scotch tape some printer paper to a door. They probably would have used spray paint and done real damage. Either these nazis are the epitome of having commitment issues, or someone else who still has respect, but is upset did it.

  7. To Rori: You sound like an apologist for the bastards, as if neo-nazis are above doing such an unspeakable act. You say “someone else who still has respect” did it? Respect???? For whom???? For what???? I think you need to study Bigotry 101 and I bet like I did, you will see yourself as a person who also needs to work to overcome your own bigotry. May God…………….

  8. #6 is right. This is a hoax.

    The hate crime bill wasn’t passed, so we may see more of these popping up. Just like the rabbi’s son that burned down the temple recently.

  9. To Jenny: My reading of it is the same as Rori’s. This isn’t a neo-nazi attack per se but an attempt to slur the office as neo-nazi. A neo-nazi group likely wouldn’t complain about an office that doesn’t talk to Jewish American children and would likely leave them alone. You just need to look at the actual evidence left behind rather than be lead by the headline.

  10. Jenny,

    When I said “respect” I meant that by merely taping their screed to the doors, rather than defacing the building and causing costly damage, the perpetrator had some conscience, and while they were angry enough to put up the offensive material, they did not have the destructive, criminality to do harm to the building.

    They got bent out of shape, but not to the point of destructive behaviour.

    I’m not saying what they did was right, it’s offensive as hell, especially if it’s a Jewish person who knows the wounds of nazism.

    I’m not apologizing for anyone. All I was doing was offering an interpretation that didn’t take the “neonazis musta done it” stance.

    Everyone has a little bit of bigotry in them if they do an honest self-assessment, dear heart. The comment in question, however, is not mine peeking out.

    May God what?

  11. David Neiwert at Orcinus has written about hate crimes in depth and with passion. When the Montana legislature threatened to repeal the state’s hate-crime laws in 2005, he wrote this piece. He emphasizes the fact that bias is itself a crime that warrants additional punishment because it inflicts additional harm. He writes:

    First: The principle of proportionality in sentencing is a fundamental aspect of criminal law. Society has always chosen to punish crimes more or less harshly according to the culpability of the perpetrator, particularly the level of harm he inflicts. This is why, in the case of the death of another person, someone may face charges ranging from first-degree murder to third-degree manslaughter.

  12. This does look like a “Hate Hoax.”

    Hate hoaxes should be prosecuted as hate crimes, because they are in the nature of “false flag” attacks on society at large designed to inflame hatred toward a particular group. Tawana Brawley and everyone around her (including the execrable Al Sharpton) should have done serious jail time for what they did. That ghastly Mangum woman who falsely accused the Duke lacrosse players should get a hefty jail sentence. These people are racial arsonists.

  13. Robert,

    About the idea that bias is a crime. Guess where I’m about to go here. 🙂

    Bias, no matter how ignorant, certainly has to be categorized along with other kinds of thoughts and beliefs when we start talking policy and law. If BIAS is a crime, then we’re dangerously close to talking about thought crime. If it’s only a crime when it attaches to action – illegal action – then bias isn’t a crime at all. Aggravating factor? Maybe.

    Even if I get that there’s a deeper nuance to the point being made, you can imagine that the wording of this gives me the willies.

  14. Robert —

    Thanks for posting this.

    Does the federal legislation currently in affect have the wording ‘actual and/or perceived’ in it? (or alternatively, does the new bill add it)? I know that some state hate crime laws make explicit that the actual orientation/race/religion of the victim doesn’t matter. If you are attacked because someone simply perceives you to be gay/muslim/hispanic/etc it doesn’t matter if you’re a straight white protestant, it still qualifies as a hate crime if it was motivated by bias against a group the perps perceived you to belong to.

  15. The reason we have hate crime laws if because the purpose of the offense is to degrade and dehumanize a person. Crimes motivated by invidious hatred toward particular groups not only harm individual victims but send a powerful message of intolerance and discrimination to all members of the group to which the victim belongs. The current law does not adequately recognize the harm it causes to public order and individual safety. The sad truth is that hate crimes are a tragic part of American history and such crime involve violent and non-violent acts against people, property, or organizations because of the group to which they belong or identify with.

    Latinos have become the latest targets of hate crimes because they are perceived to be new to the country even if their families have been here for generations, or simply because they are seen as different from the mainstream population. We can not deny Latinos are falling victim to anti-immigrant bias that includes a recurrent preoccupation with “nativism” (i.e., policies favoring people born in the US). There is also resentment when so-called “immigrants” succeed (often related to a fear of losing jobs to newcomers), and disdain and antagonism when they act against the established norm.

    According to the FBI, among the 8,380 hate crime offenses reported in 2005 (the most recent year for which figures are available):
    1,144 offenses were motivated by bias based on ethnicity or national origins, of those 57.7% were anti-Hispanic and 42.3% were anti-other ethnicity/national origin. Hate crimes against African Americas is still remain the highest with 3,200 offenses motivated by by anti-black bias.

    Most religiously motivated hate crimes are acts of vandalism, although personal attacks are not uncommon. In fact it is consider the overwhelming majority (81%) of hate crimes that were reported. In 2005 there were 3,109 acts of vandalism committed compared to 781 back in 1995.

    Just because they did not break into place and trash does not mean they are not neo-Nazis. The problem is the media obscures things when all they do is show those who are the extreme violent types. In fact those are not the dangerous ones, it is the pseudo-mainstream hate groups that are the most dangerous. They are approximately 300 different White Supremacist groups in this country. No two groups are exactly alike. The ones we think of when neo-Nazi’s are mention are your skinheads which is most violent wing of the white supremacist movement and they are more distinct from adult Klan and neo-Nazi groups and most adults have abandoned open violence to sanitize their public images. The fact that the Nazi swastika was used makes them a neo-Nazi.

  16. I’m always fascinated by the concern trolls who somehow think the false perpetuation of a hate crime or the mistaken presumption of a hate crime somehow guts the necessity of preventing such crimes in the first place.

    It’s right up there with all the white middle-class guys who were up in arms over the very idea that they wouldn’t be able to call black women “nappy headed hoes” in the Post-Imus ™ world, but “black guys do it all the time!”

    In case you forget, until 9/11, the worst act of domestic terrorism in this country was committed by a white man, a member of a militia group with known neo-Nazi ties, who wasn’t exactly going to be the guest of honor at any NAACP rally.

    Whether it’s a hate hoax, a hate crime, or just a bunch of dumbshits looking to get themselves all over the Intar Wubs, it’s still wrong. There is no equivocating or justifying it. The idea that this can be used to somehow justify not putting greater resources into hate crimes speaks more towards the barely-veiled biases of the argument-maker than the argument itself.

  17. Sam (#13), you’re quite right to pick up on my simplistic wording “bias is itself a crime.” No, worse than simplistic: wrong. I think what Neiwert was really saying (and what most hate-crimes legislation addresses) is that criminal conduct is aggravated if it is inspired by bias, as you suggest. Or, to take a different tack, that the intention of the perpetrator is taken into account. A driver who kills a pedestrian through inattention is guilty of a crime, but not of first-degree murder. A driver who intentionally runs down his enemy is in a different category, as is the person who does it because he hates African Americans. So having prejudicial thoughts or expressing prejudicial ideas is (and should be) protected. But when bias is expressed in criminal action, the proof of intention is an important factor in the legal seriousness of that action. Without hate-crimes legislation that makes such a connection between bias and intention explicit, many jurors might not equate a generalized racial/sexual/religious/disability intention to a specific hatred of an individual enemy. Therefore, I would say that such laws are necessary to ensure that such factors are taken into account. And yes, not for biased thoughts or words but for criminal actions motivated by bias.

    Jeremie (#14), the wording is “actual or perceived” in HR 1592. Here’s the relevant section:

    1) IN GENERAL- At the request of State, local, or Tribal law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that–

    (A) constitutes a crime of violence;

    (B) constitutes a felony under the State, local, or Tribal laws; and

    (C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or Tribal hate crime laws.

    This legislation is different from previous laws in that it includes sexual orientation. And its thrust is to provide federal assistance to localities and states.

    E Rocha (#15), your are quite right to point out the disproportionate effects of crime on particular groups like Latinos. I would add that legislation to crack down on such crime is beneficial to the society as a whole. The point is not that members of particular groups gain more protection than other individuals, but that special attention is paid to ensure that the law is applied equally, especially in cases where it has not been so applied historically. Neiwert points up the parallel with anti-lynching laws, which were resisted for decades on similar grounds.

  18. This legislation is different from previous laws in that it includes sexual orientation. And its thrust is to provide federal assistance to localities and states.
    That federal assistance extends to ‘grants’ to help prevent hate crimes, as I read the bill. Does anyone have any clue what these grants are and what form this specific prevention will take?
    Also, does this law differ from earlier hate crime legislation only by extending the scope to sexual orientation, or does it extend federal reach in some way for the previously included categories? Why not just change the existing statutes’ definition of hate crimes.

    Without hate-crimes legislation that makes such a connection between bias and intention explicit, many jurors might not equate a generalized racial/sexual/religious/disability intention to a specific hatred of an individual enemy.

    Are you saying that this law is important in order to explicitly define motive to potential jurors? If so, your examples citing negligent homicide and premeditated murder don’t exactly fit. The knowledge that the perpetrator hated blacks and killed a black man speaks to intent pretty explicitly. Just as it would if I were to kill my neighbor because he put his garbage cans on my lawn after I had warned him not to.

    I’m not saying I’m dead set against this law, but it seems pretty ill-defined.

  19. I’m gonna point at two things that I think this thoughtful post and these thoughtful comments have not been explicit enough about:

    1) the aim of expanding hate crime law legislation is to get the power of the Feds onto this issue – it’s an attempt to find a way for the Feds to go after hate groups as they went after them during the civil rights era…the idea then was not just to stop the Klan – it was to stop those who might imitate the Klan….
    2) Bush vetoed this legislation because it extends the law’s reach to include those who persecute others because of their sexual orientation. He’s playing to the fundies again…this time in a way that will cost his party, one hopes….