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By Ruth Brown
A Metropolitan Transportation Authority honcho emphatically denies that the agency only reports hateful graffiti on its property to the police if it is difficult to remove — saying the agency’s policy is to report anything that could be considered offensive to police and immediately scrub it off — contradicting what an agency spokesman told this paper on Monday after someone scrawled “F— Allah” on the Fort Hamilton Parkway F stop.
She claims the spokesman misunderstood the reporter’s e-mailed question, “Do you guys usually notify police when this sort of thing happens?” and was just talking about graffiti in general when he said it depended on how difficult it was to clean and then refused to answer subsequent questions about whether that meant the agency would report a painted swastika but not a chalk one. The spokesman responded only that its policy was to clean graffiti as quickly as possible.
The transit agency in fact immediately cleans any “bias” or “offensive” graffiti on its platforms and trains and reports them to both city and state authorities, said the authority’s director of communications Beth DeFalco.
“Instances of bias graffiti are always reported to NYPD and MTAPD, as well as to the State Police,” she said. “The same applies to offensive graffiti on platforms and at other MTA facilities. There is no cost consideration — bias graffiti is never tolerated and is always removed as quickly as possible in every instance.”
DeFalco could not immediately provide any records of the agency reporting bias graffiti to the police, however.
The agency takes trains out of service if someone reports that one has been marred with offensive graffiti, she said.
“All offensive graffiti on trains results in a train being taken out of service immediately once we have been notified of it and as soon as the train can be located,” said DeFalco. “The graffiti is always cleaned.”
Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at twitter.com/rbbrown.
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[TRANSIT] Backtrack: MTA says its policy is to report all hateful graffiti to police : Brooklyn Daily