Graffiti favored by white supremacists was found in San Francisco's North of the Panhandle neighborhood, July 2, 2020. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)
Graffiti favored by white supremacists was found in San Francisco's North of the Panhandle neighborhood, July 2, 2020. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)

SS Nazi bolts found scrawled in S.F. neighborhood

What appeared to be a set of spray-painted SS bolts, a symbol favored by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, was found in the NoPa neighborhood of San Francisco on July 2.

After the San Francisco Police Department was made aware of the graffiti, scrawled on an apartment building on Golden Gate Avenue at Divisadero Street, public information officer Michael Andraychak emailed J. and said he urged the property owner to file a police report before painting it over.

“It is important to document graffiti, particularly images that convey a meaning of hate, so officers who patrol the area can be informed and vigilant for similar crimes occurring,” he said.

District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the North of the Panhandle area, went to inspect the graffiti and commented to J.: “This is the kind of hate that’s been normalized across the country by Donald Trump and his fellow white nationalists. There’s no place for this hate in our city. This anti-Semitic graffiti will be removed immediately, even if I have to come back out here and paint over it myself.”

On July 3, a day after the graffiti was found, Preston announced on Twitter that the city’s Department of Public Works had painted over the bolts.

Also on Twitter, S.F. District Attorney Chesa Boudin, whom J. profiled in December, commented on the incident and shared J.’s report with his approximately 33,000 followers. “This is not ok. Period. We do not tolerate hate crimes.”

Two days later, Boudin announced that his office would be aggressively prosecuting a separate suspected hate crime in the city, after a 29-year-old white man allegedly threatened a Black teenager, unleashing a string of racial slurs. “A hate crime against one of us is a crime against all of us,” Boudin said on Twitter.

On June 28, white supremacist fliers were found in the East Bay city of Martinez. The fliers had the “White Pride World Wide” logo, which according to the Anti-Defamation League is associated with Stormfront, the internet’s largest white supremacist website.

In January, J. reported on a pair of SS bolts painted on the parking lot surface of a state government office in Sacramento. The bolts concerned Jewish employees, who had to walk past the symbols for seven months until they were cleaned up.

California’s office of the attorney general recently released its annual “Hate Crime in California” report, which counted 141 hates crimes motivated by “anti-Jewish bias” across the state last year, an increase of 11.9 percent from 2018.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler was a staff writer at J. from 2019 to 2021.