Nurses find 'at least 25' swastikas on walls of California hospital

Nurses at Long Beach (Calif.) Memorial Medical Center said they found dozens of swastikas drawn on the walls of an employee stairwell on three separate occasions during the last two months, according to the Press-Telegram.

Seyma Anajafi, RN, told the Press-Telegram she first encountered the symbols spread across three stories of the stairwell in the western wing June 30. She claimed dozens more appeared three days later, bringing the total number of symbols to at least 25.

Ms. Anajafi said the hospital painted over the drawings during the week of July 2. However, the symbols reappeared for the third time less than two weeks later. She said the stairwell is only accessible to employees from inside the building, but nonhospital personnel could get in from the outside if one of the doors to the stairwell was accidently left ajar.

A labor representative from the California Nurses Association said the nurses have begun pressuring hospital management to install security cameras in the stairwell and asked a guard be posted nearby.

The nurses are also reportedly working to file a grievance alleging hospital leaders haven't done enough to stop the "racist vandalism," the representative told the Press-Telegram.

A spokesperson for Long Beach Memorial Medical Center said senior hospital officials "only recently learned of the situation and are taking it seriously," according to the report. She told the Press-Telegram the swastikas "may have been painted over the first time without anyone notifying higher-level management."

The spokesperson said July 21 the hospital was in the process of reporting the incident to police.

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