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Pittsburgh Police announce arrest of man for allegedly posting hate symbol on synagogue

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Pittsburgh Police have announced an arrest after investigating a possible hate symbol being inscribed on a local synagogue. 

According to police, on April 8, they received an email from the Shaare Torah Synagogue in Squirrel Hill with several pictures of a man inscribing a possible hate symbol on the doors of the synagogue. 

Originally, the symbol was reported as a Star of David, but after further investigation, it closely resembled a hate symbol used by the Ku Klux Klan. 

Police then worked with the District Attorney and identified the suspect as 33-year-old William Murray of Pittsburgh. 

Murray was arrested and is now facing charges of ethnic intimidation, institutional vandalism, and criminal mischief. He will have a preliminary hearing on May 14, 2024. 

RELATED: Pittsburgh Police investigating vandalism of pro-Israel signs in Squirrel Hill

The arrest comes as the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh says they have experienced 300 incidents in 2023, with almost half of them coming between October 7 and the end of the year - the time in which the Israel-Hamas War has been happening. 

Pittsburgh Police are also investigating the vandalism of signs in support of Israel in Squirrel Hill. 

They aid that 10 families discovered vandalism to their signs which had red handprints, representing blood. 

"It's incredibly disappointing and disturbing, it was really hard to miss," said one Squirrel Hill community member. 

Since then, the Jewish community has increased security with the help of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. 

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