Denver, CO, August 19, 2021 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Mountain States Region welcomed the arrests today of four suspects accused of fatally shooting a yeshiva student in Denver late Tuesday. Police reports indicate the killing was part of a larger crime spree the suspects allegedly committed across the city on Tuesday.
“We commend the Denver Police Department and local law enforcement authorities for their swift action in identifying and arresting suspects in this horrible killing,” said ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin. “While police do not believe the victim was targeted because of his Jewish identity, the shooting has certainly shattered a sense of peace and calm in the community. We continue to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Shmuel Silverberg and extend our support to the entire Yeshiva Toras Chaim community.”
The Denver Police Department said it does not believe the student or school were intentionally targeted, but if evidence develops that indicates a potential bias motivation for the shooting, the agency will pursue hate crime charges.
While Tuesday’s killing is not currently identified as an antisemitic attack, it is important to recognize that the murder of a Jewish individual impacts the wider Jewish community and has ripple effects beyond Denver. The attack also happened amidst a disturbing increase in antisemitic incidents across Colorado and the United States.
Antisemitic incidents remained at a historically high level across the United States in 2020, with a total of 2,024 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism reported to ADL. While antisemitic incidents declined by 4 percent nationwide after hitting an all-time high in 2019, last year was still the third-highest year for incidents against American Jews since ADL started tracking such data in 1979.
In Colorado, there were 60 reported antisemitic incidents in 2020 compared to 61 in 2019. 2019 and 2020 had the two highest levels of antisemitic incidents in the past 10 years in Colorado, according to ADL’s 2020 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.
ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. ADL’s Mountain States Region covers Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. More at https://mountainstates.adl.org/.
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