JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Donald Trump campaign sign in Riverside was defaced to resemble Nazi leader Adolph Hitler.
The sign promoting the Republican presidential candidate is inside a vacant storefront at the corner of Park and King streets.
While the sign is inside, the paint defacing the sign was on the outside of the glass. The space at 2655 Park St. is owned by Patsy Butts, who is Jewish and said she sees the graffiti as a direct insult to the Jewish people.
“If it’s just the fact that they don’t like Donald Trump and they don’t like Donald Trump becoming president, why didn’t they just say... 'We don’t want Donald Trump' or something of that effect, where it only affects Donald Trump,” Butts said. “But what they did is they made Donald Trump look like Hitler. Then they put the Swastika on his forehead. ... That to me is a direct affront to the Jewish people.”
The windows of the storefront have been painted with graffiti of a swastika and Hitler's iconic mustache over Trump's face, along with the Nazi “SS” emblems on his collar.
The words “Heil” and “Nazi” have been superimposed over the campaign sign, as well, so that it reads “Heil Donald Trump” and “Nazi Candidate for President” instead of “We Want Donald Trump” and “Republican Candidate for President.”
People driving and walking by the storefront Tuesday said they were shocked by what they saw.
"If I'm just a passerby and that's the first thing I see, then obviously I don't get this so-called joke that they are trying to make. I just see it as a hate crime,” Lauren Shold said. “As a Jewish member of the community I don't take things like this lightly. Growing up I dealt with a lot of hate, and there is still a lot today, unfortunately.”
People stopped by all day taking pictures of the graffiti.
Bruce Fitch saw the sign while driving on Park Street.
“That's not very nice. Donald Trump is a guy who just loves his country. (He) might not be the most politically correct person to do so, but he has the right intentions,” Fitch said. “And to demonize him like that is pretty upsetting.”
Butts, who had the Trump sign made and put it up, said that although she sees the graffiti as an insult to Jewish people, she does not believe she was specifically targeted. She plans to keep the Trump sign up.
Police are investigating the vandalism.
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