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Swastikas Found Near Downtown Miami Government Buildings

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Authorities are investigating after someone drew swastikas near Government Center in downtown Miami.

Thousands of people passed by them along busy Northwest 1st Avenue.

"I saw this thing that I thought was a swastika. I said to myself 'by a courthouse? Highly unlikely.' Lo and behold, it was a swastika. I almost lost my lunch."

Circuit court judge David Young nearly became sick to his stomach Thursday during lunchtime.

"Hate doesn't belong in the courthouse. Hate doesn't belong in a religious institution, it doesn't belong in the schools. It doesn't belong on the streets of our community."

He showed CBS4 cameras where he found the first one. It was right outside the Miami-Dade County Bar Association.

Since then, crews have covered it with paint.

Feet away, a valet attendant discovered another one on a utility box near the steps of the Miami-Dade County courthouse.

That one too is now covered.

"I went holy hell. I went over and the gentleman was cleaning it up."

It's still unclear who's responsible and how long the symbols of hate were there.

The judge says he immediately called police and groups fighting hate.

In a statement, a spokesperson with the anti-defamation league said in part: "Swastikas and Holocaust-related vandalism should have no place in our society. We commend law enforcement for swiftly responding to and investigating these unsettling incidents..."

Adl has so far recorded more than 180 anti-semitic incidents nationally this year.

There were more than 2-thousand last year.

In Florida, there were 88 last year.

The number for this year is not available.

As for the judge, he has a message about love instead of hate.

"If we are going to make life better for future generations, we have to get along with each other. We should embrace diversity."

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