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Malden teen accused of vandalizing Holocaust memorial arraigned

Broken glass lies on the ground near police tape at the New England Holocaust Memorial, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, in Boston. Police say a person is in custody for allegedly vandalizing the memorial. It's the second time the memorial has been damaged this summer. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON — A 17-year-old boy accused of vandalizing the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston was arraigned and released on his own recognizance Tuesday as Malden elected officials condemned hatred and racism.

Prosecutors say the Malden teenager appeared in juvenile court Tuesday. He was ordered to stay away from the memorial and follow mental health guidance.

The teen is accused of smashing a glass panel on the memorial Monday. Police say the boy was detained by two bystanders until police arrived. He was charged with willful and malicious destruction of property.

Police say another suspect faces a vandalism charge after damaging flowers placed at the memorial Tuesday morning.

The attack was the second directed at the memorial this year. In June, authorities say James Isaac used a rock to shatter a glass panel on one of the memorial’s six 54-foot-high towers. Isaac has pleaded not guilty to vandalism charges.

The 17-year-old’s arrest came in the wake of violence last Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., where an anti-white supremacist protester was killed and 19 were injured when a car rammed into a crowd. The suspected driver has been charged with second-degree murder and other charges.

Malden state Rep. Steven Ultrino urged residents to speak out against racism, violence and hateful acts in the wake of the attack and posted on Facebook praise for Malden.

“Malden’s diverse and welcoming community is one of our city’s greatest strengths,” Ultrino wrote. “The hateful actions in Charlottesville and the rising racial violence across the country are alarming and tragic.

“This moment demands each of us to speak out against racism and violence, to support all members of our community, and to commit ourselves to a world where differences are celebrated and cherished, not used to divide and oppress.”

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark commented on Twitter: “We have a responsibility to take a stand against white supremacists trying to intimidate with racism and hate.”

A Boston consultant’s study concluded in March that Malden has evolved into one of the most diverse communities in Massachusetts over the past 10-15 years and has made major strides toward community unity and inclusion.

City officials and residents organized and attended Community ’N Unity meetings with help from consultant Strategy Matters of Boston before the firm released the report on its findings. The report cited city improvements in increasing racial and cultural awareness among municipal employees.

It also concluded Malden public schools are increasing diversity among staff members and teachers. Close to 70 percent of Malden’s public school population is African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic while the majority of teachers and staff are white.

Material from Associated Press was used in this story.

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