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Student Fined For Vandalism After Ripping Up Swastika Sign

sydney.brooman 16 Aug 2019

A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student is facing a court date and vandalism fine for ripping up a handmade sign with a swastika on it during an on-campus event.

Grae Hosmanek was participating in a student-run event for an organization called Students Supporting Israel when a man showed up to protest, allegedly yelling racial slurs, and holding up a home made swastika sign.

UWM Police Department Chief Joseph LeMire was onsite to ensure that the event ran smoothly.

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After the man with the sign showed up, an officer turned to Hosmanek and stated "Whatever you’re thinking, don’t do it. You might get yourself in trouble. Stay back, don’t interfere," which she allegedly agreed to.

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Suddenly, she ripped the sign out of the man's hand.

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“[She] ripped the sign out of his hands, and then ran away ripping it up while the officers had to go after her, make contact with her," LeMire says, "We arrested her and brought her back to one of our squad cars."

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Hosmanek allegedly cooperated with police, who gave her a vandalism ticket rather than the charges she was facing.

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"We decided, let’s change the ticket to vandalism because that would look better on her record, and additionally it would be $200 less of a forfeiture amount that she would have to pay if found guilty," LeMire explained, "It’s something that looks better on her record."

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According to Hosmanek, the man was shouting a number of threats.

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"I kind of watched the interactions he was having with other students, and how they became increasingly upset," Hosmanek told the local outlet, "He was saying things like, 'Gas the Jews.'"

However, LeMire alleges that none of that occurred.

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The man’s sign was taken as a form of protected speech, while Hosmanek’s altercation was taken as a threat.

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A university spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle that the man who was holding the sign was "not enrolled for the upcoming fall semester for undisclosed reasons."

Hosmanek's court date is currently set for September 27th 2019.

h/t: Yahoo Lifestyle

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