Arizona State University police were investigating an incident on Wednesday after someone spray-painted swastikas and other pro-Nazi graffiti on the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism’s campus in downtown Phoenix.
Rebecca Blatt, senior associate dean at the Cronkite School, sent an email to students Wednesday morning warning them about the graffiti and that it would be removed once ASU police had collected what it needed from the scene.
Blatt said the graffiti was spray painted on signage promoting a photo exhibit called “Relentless Courage” featuring work from photographers covering the war between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is the only head of state who’s Jewish outside of Israel.
ASU President Michael Crow condemned the pro-Nazi vandalism in a written statement to The Arizona Republic.
“Let there be no confusion that while ASU vigorously protects freedom of expression for all members of our community, we recognize the difference between that constitutional right and activities orchestrated to provoke, incite or agitate with the intention of creating an environment of intimidation and fear,” Crow said. “We see those who perpetrate such actions under the cover of darkness for what they are: weak and hateful fear-mongers and cowards.”
An ASU spokesperson said the university had since removed the graffiti as of Wednesday afternoon and that police were reviewing potential video evidence, but didn’t specify whether it had any suspects.