New York police probe second university hate crime

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NEW YORK, Oct 12 (Reuters) Police are investigating a second hate crime at New York's Columbia University after a caricature of a man wearing a yarmulke above a swastika was found on a bathroom door.

New York police said that the caricature was drawn in black ink in a men's bathroom at the university's Lewisohn Hall, home of the School of General Studies.

On Tuesday a black professor discovered a noose outside her office at Columbia's Teachers College, sparking a protest on Wednesday by more than 100 students against the incident.

''I am saddened to report that one of the bathrooms in Lewisohn Hall was sullied with an anti-Semitic smear. It has been promptly removed and is now being investigated,'' Columbia's President Lee Bollinger said in a statement yesterday.

Tuesday's incident was the second involving a noose to occur this week in New York. Police arrested an 18-year-old woman earlier this week on suspicion of hanging a noose on a tree in her yard and threatening to hang the children of her black neighbors.

Nooses have long been seen in the United States as potent symbol of racist lynchings and hatred of blacks and experts speculate they may have replaced the burning cross used by the Ku Klux Klan.

The incidents in New York, known for its racial diversity, follow protests that recently focused nationwide attention on Jena, Louisiana, after three nooses were found hanging from a tree at a high school there last year.

Reuters DKS VP0612

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