James Polite, Synagogue Vandalism Suspect, Was Barack Obama Campaign Worker In 2008

A Jewish man stands next to some anti-Semitic graffiti.
David Silverman / Getty Images

On Thursday, November 1, a discussion to be held at a New York City synagogue between political candidates was canceled due to a spate of anti-Semitic graffiti being scrawled throughout the venue, the Inquisitr previously reported. With Ilana Glazer, star of Comedy Central series Broad City, set to host the proceedings, the event was a highly anticipated affair that had brought out quite the crowd before Glazer was forced to make a public statement canceling the event.

The graffiti in question, written in stark black marker, contained such phrases as “Kill all Jews!” as well as “Die Jew rats, we are here!” Other offensive statements made by the graffiti suspect included “Hitler,” and “Jews better be ready!”

Now, police have apprehended a suspect related to the matter, according to Fox News. 26-year-old James Polite was arrested on Friday, November 2, and was charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime connected with vandalism for his alleged acts upon the Union Temple in Brooklyn.

As it turns out, Polite had been profiled by the New York Times just one year prior, in 2017, where it was revealed that he had formerly served as a campaign worker for former president Barack Obama during the Democrats 2008 campaign.

In the New York Times piece, Polite is profiled in depth, and the story elaborates on his journey through life as a foster child that was bounced through an estimated 10 households in his high school career alone.

Having seemingly turned his life around from difficult beginnings at the time of the profile article, which describes Polite as having “interned with Ms. [Christine C.] Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat, for several years, working on initiatives to combat hate crime, sexual assault and domestic violence,” after initially beginning a political career canvassing door to door for Barack Obama’s premiere presidential run, it seems that Polite — now a suspect in a hate crime case — may have turned to darker ideologies.

Quinn, who at the time of the article pointed out that Polite was essentially an adoptee of her campaign, and of City Council staff write large, has expressed her sorrow at this latest news via Twitter. Her statement distances herself from the suspect and his alleged actions, while at the same time illustrating a degree of personal sorrow for the way that things have unfolded.

Following Polite’s arrest, he was referred to a psychiatric ward at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, as Fox News details. It was likely his interactions with arresting officers that led to his being transfered there for an evaluation, according to reports.

No court date has been set, and further details, as of this writing, are scant.