Illinois Man Charged With Spray-Painting Swastikas on Graves, Private Residences, Churches
A southern Illinois man accused of spray-painting swastikas on graves, houses, and other property over Memorial Day weekend faces multiple felony charges, including four counts of hate crimes. Police arrested Timothy V. McLean, 34, on May 26 after the discovery of vandalism to more than 200 grave markers, as well as eight homes and two cars in the same neighborhood as the cemetery. McLean is also suspected of spray-painting swastikas on three church buildings and two residences since April 1. In addition to the hate crime charges, McLean faces three counts of institutional vandalism regarding spray-painting churches, 14 counts of criminal damage to property over $500, and one count of violating the Cemetery Protection Act. McLean is being held at a county jail and did not respond when a judge read the charges during a court appearance via satellite on May 30. The judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation for McLean, whose previous convictions over more than 15 years include making racially derogatory comments to a police department, residential burglary, and threatening a public official
Inmate Fatally Shoots Two Police Officers, Civilian in Belgium Attack Being Investigated as Terrorism
An inmate out on temporary release in the Belgian city of Liège killed two female police officers and a civilian on May 29 in an attack being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, according to prosecutors. Authorities said that while out on leave for two days, Benjamin Herman approached the officers from behind as they checked parking meters and repeatedly stabbed them before fatally shooting them with their service weapons. Herman, 31, then opened fire on a parked vehicle, killing the 22-year-old male passenger. After taking a female employee hostage at a nearby high school, Herman ran onto a sidewalk and fired at police officers as they moved in. He was killed in the shootout, during which four law enforcement officers were wounded. Officials said Herman shouted “Allahu Akbar”—“God is greatest” in Arabic—multiple times during the attack, and they believe he may have been radicalized in prison. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack the following day. Herman is also accused of killing an accomplice, a former inmate he previously served prison time with, in a burglary the night before. Herman had been serving a 17-year sentence for drug and theft convictions.
Four Students Charged With Hate Crimes After Graffiti Found at Maryland High School
Four students are charged with hate crimes in connection with swastikas and racist graffiti spray-painted at a high school in Maryland, police announced on May 24. The 18-year-old seniors at Glenelg High School in Howard County, Maryland—Seth Taylor, Tyler Curtiss, Joshua Shaffer, and Matthew Lipp—are accused of vandalizing various spots around the school. County officials stated the graffiti included anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-LGBTQ slurs. Some of the graffiti targeted the school’s African-American principal. School officials found the graffiti the morning of May 24 on campus sidewalks, outside walls, and in the parking lot. Police used video to identify the four individuals. Three were arrested at the school, while the other was taken into custody at his home. All four are charged with multiple counts of destruction of property based on race, color, religious belief, sexual orientation, or national origin. The misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.