Neighbors in Albuquerque concerned about swastika

A Nazi symbol displayed in the window of an Albuquerque home has neighbors upset. KRQE-TV reported that a swastika flag was displayed at a westside house. The house is near Unser and Ladera and one neighbor, who said they were part of a bi-racial family, said it disturbed her. “My grandkids live with me. I don’t want them walking by and seeing that, or having to be afraid to walk down the street,” Dawn Candelaria told the TV station.

Introducing our Intolerance Watch project

Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed a new link on the front page that goes to something called “Intolerance Watch.”

We have been beta-testing this project over the last few weeks, and are excited to make it fully public today. For the series, we are writing stories about moments of intolerance in New Mexico based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and more. So why are we doing this? A 2013 U.S. Department of Justice study found nearly 260,000 reported and unreported hate crimes occur annually. There have been some efforts to track these, notably by the Southern Policy Law Center, but it is a rarity on the state level.

Police investigating slur written on gay-friendly club

Graffiti of a slur against the LGBT community on a private gay-friendly club in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill prompted police response and outrage from advocates. The graffiti, which said “F— You Fa–,” was scrawled on the walls of the Albuquerque Social Club Monday. Police were called to look into the incident. Albuquerque Police Department officer Fred Duran told NM Political Report the incident sparked additional officer patrols in the area Monday night. He added that police have not found the culprit who wrote the graffiti, which has since been washed off.

No charges after man wrote ‘terrorist’ in chalk outside Muslim-owned restaurant

The man who wrote “terrorist” outside of a restaurant owned by a Muslim in Santa Fe will not be charged. A photo of the message went viral on Facebook, with hundreds of shares by Monday morning. The Albuquerque Journal reported the man who wrote the message in “bright pink chalk” will not be charged, in part because of what police call “very apparent mental issues” and in part because the message was written in chalk and there was no property damage. The message was written outside the Pyramid Cafe, one of three restaurants owned by Mohamed “Ziggy” Rzig, the Journal reported. Rzig is originally from Tunisia and is now an American citizen.

Couple allegedly urinated on Quran at Santa Fe library

A couple in Santa Fe allegedly urinated on copies of the Quran and Bill Clinton’s autobiography and moved  copies of the Bible and books by conservative provocateur Ann Coulter to prominent locations in a library. The Santa Fe New Mexican first reported the incident, to which Santa Fe Public Library employees alerted police last week. There is no video evidence of the couple’s alleged actions, but the library manager told police three copies of the Quran were damaged “by a yellowish liquid substance,” the New Mexican reported, citing a police report. The couple had caused trouble before. From the New Mexican:
On March 3, library staff asked the couple to move their vehicle, a white Ford F-250 truck towing a white double-axle trailer, from the library’s parking lot, according to a police report.

ABQ Jewish Community Center again part of wave of bomb threats

For the second time in two months, Albuquerque’s Jewish Community Center was targeted with a bomb threat today. It was one of at least 10 bomb threats to different JCCs across the country. Fred Duran, a spokesman with the Albuquerque Police Department, said the bomb threat to the Albuquerque location “came through the phone.” JCC staff evacuated the building after the threat came, and APD officers found no bomb inside, according to Duran. Everything at the JCC is currently operating “back to normal,” Duran added. Similar bomb threats were directed against JCCs today in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, New York and Alabama, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.