Swastikas smeared in beans found on Capitol grounds


by Catherine Holland


Posted on April 26, 2010 at 7:30 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 26 at 10:02 AM

PHOENIX -- Investigators are looking into a case of vandalism at the state Capitol, sparked by the newly signed anti-illegal-immigration law.

Capitol police arrived on the scene at about 6 a.m., after a swastika was found smeared on the glass doors of the House and Senate buildings.

While it first looked like mud on the doors, it turned out be refried beans.

On the sidewalk, beans were used to write "AZ=Nazi," again with a swastika.

It's not clear when exactly the vandalism happened, but police believe it was some time overnight.

"That is what happens when there is so much fear and there is so much disappointment," said Gustavo Ramirez, a protester from California. "The laws that have been passed, they are Nazi laws. They are not considering humanity. They are a crime against humanity."

Ramirez said while he does not support the new law, vandalism is not the way to make a statement.

This is the first case of hate-crime vandalism since Gov. Jan Brewer signed the controversial Senate Bill 1070 into law on Friday.

While there have been protests and rallies by people on both sides of the issue, they have been peaceful.

Protesters are still at the Capitol, vowing to stay and peacefully make their voices heard. The new law will go into effect this summer.

Those opposed to the measure say it essentially legalizes racial profiling.

Supporters say that's not the case. Law-enforcement representatives and the governor insist that racial profiling will not be tolerated.

While protests have been nearly constant since Friday's signing, polls taken before that indicated a majority of Arizonans -- 70 percent -- were in favor of SB 1070.