Two swastikas were discovered spray-painted in the pedestrian tunnel of the West Bloomfield Linear Park Trail.
Featured photo courtesy of Stacy Gittleman
A planned annual family photoshoot among the fall foliage of the West Bloomfield Linear Park Trail turned out to reveal the startling discovery of two swastikas spray-painted in the pedestrian tunnel that traverses underneath Long Lake Road.
According to West Bloomfield Police reports, Jennifer Arkin Camens of West Bloomfield on Wednesday, Oct. 23, walked with her children and entered the tunnel to photograph her two daughters and their dog. It was not until she shared the photos by text that a friend pointed out the hateful symbol above her daughters’ heads in the background.
Camens later returned to the scene, documented the swastikas and provided both the WB Police and the JN with the photos.
According to a WB Police report, the swastikas were spray-painted in light pink paint over the words “kinky bitches.” There was a second swastika to the left also in pink spray paint. According to the report, Camens stated there were more derogatory words painted in green inside the tunnel.
There are no witnesses or suspects.
“Our annual walk on the West Bloomfield trail … was nearly ruined when I came back and looked at the pictures,” Camens said. “While the trees were pretty and the dog and kids cooperated, it was the background of the tunnel that mortified me. My 11-year-old daughter was smiling under two swastika signs!”
After she was alerted to the swastika sightings in her photographs, Camens said her “heart was pounding, and she was furious.” Another friend contacted the Anti-Defamation League of Michigan, and Camens returned to the tunnel to photograph the swastikas and called the West Bloomfield Police to file a report.
Camens said within one hour of filing the police report, West Bloomfield parks authorities spray-painted over the swastikas with black paint.
Camens said she walks this area of the trail regularly and never noticed the swastikas until that day.
She said the swift action taken by the WB Police Department shows how seriously it takes hate incidents. Still, she is “deeply saddened at the hatred and ignorance going on in this world and disturbed that something like this has happened in my own backyard.
“It’s time for the Jewish people, along with other minorities, to stand up for one another,” Camens said. “Never again will acts of hatred be accepted. Never again.”