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Southfield police investigating pro-Palestinian graffiti spray-painted on law office of U-M Regent

'This kind of hate action is not acceptable, targeting of individual Jews is not acceptable. Period.'
Posted at 1:05 PM, Jun 03, 2024

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Southfield police responded to a 911 call early Monday morning after someone discovered the law offices of Goodman Acker had been vandalized.

Police say surveillance video shows four suspects arrived outside the building around 1:39 a.m. and stayed until 1:46 a.m.

VIDEO: Police release surveillance video of suspects after graffiti found on law office:

Police release surveillance video after pro-Palestinian graffiti spray painted on law office

It appears the spray-painted messages were targeting attorney Jordan Acker, who is a Regent for the University of Michigan.

"FREE PALESTINE," "DIVEST NOW," and "UM KILLS" were among the messages scrawled across the front of the building and the sidewalk on Ten Mile Road in Southfield. An obscenity directed at Acker was also included in the vandalism.

“Make no mistake, that targeting individual Jewish elected officials is anti-semitism. This has nothing to do with Palestine or the war in Gaza or anything else — this is done as a message to scare Jews," said Acker at a press conference on Monday.

Berry Goodman, founding member and partner of Goodman Acker, said: “Our office was vandalized in a clear attempt to intimidate and spread fear among our team, our employees, other tenants, the community."

VIDEO: Watch the full press release with leaders and Acker in the player below:

Community leaders, Jordan Acker hold press conference after law firm vandalized

Acker said, “This kind of hate action is not acceptable, targeting of individual Jews is not acceptable. Period."

The Southfield police chief confirmed they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

University of Michigan President Santa J. Ono released the following statement after the vandalism:

The vandalism that occurred at Regent Jordan Acker’s place of business is shocking and unacceptable. Singling out this dedicated public servant and defacing his workplace in the middle of the night is an act of antisemitic cowardice that Southfield police have indicated is being investigated as a hate crime. Such harassment and attempts to intimidate have no place in a civil society and certainly no place in our university community.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also issued a statement Monday afternoon:

Michigan has been a place where people from all backgrounds, religions, and cultures have lived together peacefully for decades. Violence, vandalism, threats, and intimidation are unacceptable, and what we saw today in Southfield is abhorrent. We must remain united in calling out hatred of any kind and continue working together toward peace in Michigan.

Three weeks ago, a man with his face covered was seen on surveillance video walking up to Acker's Oakland County home in the middle of the night and taping the demands of the UMich Gaza Solidarity Encampment to the front door.

That same early morning, pro-Palestinian protesters targeted the home of U-M Regent Sarah Hubbard, placing fake bloody corpses on her lawn.

VIDEO: Protesters stage demonstrations outside U-M regent's home:

Escalating demonstrations at the University of Michigan

At the time, a number of students and other pro-Palestinian supporters had set up an encampment on the U-M Diag in protest of what they said were the university's investment in companies with ties to Israel.

RELATED VIDEO: Police move to break up encampment at U-M

VIDEO: Police move to break up encampment at U-M

The TAHRIR Coalition took responsibility for what happened at the homes of Regents saying, "Our non-violent home visits of the publicly elected Regents aimed to deliver our demands for divestment directly to the Regents, to level with the University's continued complicity in the genocide."

U-M officials have said that their "endowment has no direct investment in any Israeli company. What we do have are funds that one of those companies may be part of a fund." The official added that "less than 1/10 of one percent of the endowment is invested indirectly in such companies."