Update (9/14/12): Based on the best information currently available, ADL does not believe this incident should be treated as a hate crime. More
Detroit, MI, August 28, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage and horror at an alleged anti-Semitic hate crime against a student at Michigan State University. The student was knocked unconscious and had his mouth stapled shut by two men at a party, after the men allegedly asked the student if he was Jewish, chanted "Heil Hitler" and gave the Nazi salute.
ADL has spoken to the parents of the victim, Zachary Tennen, a sophomore, and has been in contact with local law enforcement and university officials since first learning of the assault, which took place in the early morning hours of August 26 and reportedly was witnessed by other students. Tennen sustained a broken jaw and other injuries and was hospitalized following the assault.
"We are horrified by this violent assault and allegations that the student may have been viciously attacked because he was Jewish," said Betsy Kellman, ADL Detroit Regional Director. "We are confident that the East Lansing Police will thoroughly investigate this deeply troubling case and, given the allegations, treat it as a possible hate crime. We hope the perpetrators will be swiftly brought to justice."
For decades, ADL has spearheaded efforts to ensure that local, state and federal law enforcement have important tools to combat bias-motivated crime. In 1981, ADL drafted model hate crimes legislation covering all hate crimes. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have since enacted laws based on or similar to the model, which was unanimously found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993.
The League led a broad coalition effort in support of the 2009 enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act - the most important comprehensive and inclusive federal hate crimes enforcement law in 40 years.