James Polite, the 26-year-old man who was arrested Friday for allegedly vandalizing a synagogue in Brooklyn Thursday, is a Democratic activist who once worked for New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and also volunteered for Barack Obama.
The New York Times reported Saturday:
Mr. Polite was arrested on Friday and charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime for writing “Die Jew Rats,” “Hitler,” “End It Now” and “Jew Better Be Ready” in marker on walls of the Union Temple of Brooklyn.
The police said surveillance video captured Mr. Polite, of Brooklyn, inside the synagogue.
He was taken into custody on Friday morning at the scene of a fire that had been set inside the coat room of Yeshiva Beth Hillel of Williamsburg, officials said.
Mr. Polite was charged with arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief — all as hate crimes — for setting fires at four other locations affiliated with the Jewish community, including another school. The police recognized Mr. Polite from the surveillance video at Union Temple.
The synagogue had been scheduled to host a Democratic Party event. The Daily Caller notes that Democrats, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, had used the vandalism in political messages — until the arrest.