(JTA) — Headstones toppled at a cemetery that serves the Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, were determined to be due to neglect, not vandalism.
The fallen headstones at the Washington Cemetery was discovered on Saturday night, according to reports, in what was initially considered an incident of vandalism.
But following an investigation on Sunday, the New York Police Department’s hate crimes unit said it determined that the damage was old and due to neglect and harsh weather conditions.
“It was old damage, years if not decades [old],” an NYPD spokesman told DNAInfo.
New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted photos of some of the downed headstones on Saturday night. He said he was alerted to the toppled headstones by the Boro Park Shomrim organization, a Jewish security patrol.
In 2010, some 200 headstones were toppled in the same Brooklyn cemetery over a Friday night and Saturday, when the cemetery is closed.
Three Jewish cemeteries were reported to have been vandalized in the last two weeks, including a second one in New York, the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester. Dozens of gravestones were toppled and damaged at cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia as well.