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Concerns raised about possible antisemitism in Highland Park, Illinois, parade shooting

Concerns raised about possible antisemitism in Highland Park, Illinois, parade shooting

The community of Highland Park, Illinois, had a recent incident of anti-semitic hate speech.

In April, police said flyers appeared in the area and surrounding communities on Yom HaShoah, the Day of Holocaust Remembrance, NBC Chicago reported at the time. Highland Park police pledged to work with other suburban police departments and the FBI to investigate, according to NBC Chicago.

The city issued a statement condemning antisemitism in response to that incident.

On Monday, a gunman opened fire from a rooftop on the community’s July Fourth parade, killing at least six and injuring 38 others. Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III was taken into custody Monday evening. Police have not addressed or confirmed a possible motive in the deadly shooting.

Highland Park is known as a heavily Jewish suburb more than 25 miles outside of Chicago, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz, both of which noted that some estimates put the area’s Jewish population at about a third of its total estimated population of 30,100.

Nearly 90 percent of the total population identifies as white, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.

When the shots rang out at the parade Monday, a traditional Jewish klezmer band was playing on the parade route, video shows.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told its staff that “there is information about Jewish casualties” and that its Chicago-based consul general, Yinam Cohen, was in touch with authorities and local Jewish communities.

Cohen did not immediately reply to a request for comment from NBC News.

Highland Park “welcomed a sizable Jewish population after World War II,” unlike many of its neighboring communities, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, a database maintained by the Chicago History Museum, the Newberry Library and Northwestern University.

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