San Rafael, CA – Dozens of anti-Semitic and anti-vaccination flyers have been found on Marin County properties in recent days, and Law Enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office are tracking the incidents.
The flyers were distributed in Tiburon and the unincorporated Wildhorse Valley neighborhood of western Novato. The flyers are usually in a plastic bag with rice and are thrown on driveways from a moving vehicle. In addition to listing the names of prominent national healthcare officials, the flyers imply a connection between people of Jewish faith and the Covid-19 pandemic. The conduct is designed to instill fear within communities on a national and local level.
Tiburon Police Chief Ryan Monaghan stated on behalf of the Marin County Police Chiefs Association, which includes both the Marin County Sheriff and District Attorney: "These flyers serve no other purpose than to promulgate divisiveness. There is no place for this type of ill-intentioned propaganda in Marin County. Marin County Law Enforcement will work together using our available collective resources to investigate similar incidents and collaborate with the Marin County District Attorney’s Office to ensure appropriate action is taken. The greater Marin community is made whole and stronger because of our diversity. The Marin County Police Chiefs Association and the agencies we represent stand with our Marin community against hate.”
“This is infuriating and repugnant, and we reject this hateful behavior,” Marin County District Attorney Frugoli said. “Such as they are, the messages in these flyers were intentionally designed and distributed in a manner that is protected as free speech under the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
There may be limited exceptions when an individual could be prosecuted,” she said. The DA has a webpage devoted to marking the differences between a hate crime and a hate incident and encourages these incidents to be reported to local law enforcement agencies. The District Attorney's Office has a Hate Crime Hotline (415)
473-2585 which is monitored daily and has information in Spanish and English. Hate crimes and similar incidents occurring in Novato may be reported to the Novato Police Department in-person or on their website. The Hotline and online reporting portal are not for emergencies. An emergency call should be made to 911.
The ADL, a global anti-hate organization, tracks reported incidents as well. In addition to reporting possible hate crimes locally, residents are encouraged to report the incidents to ADL.
The DA’s Office works closely with Not In Our Town, another organization that works with communities across the country to stop hate, racism, and bullying.
“Let's make no mistake, these flyers are meant to frighten and harm the Jewish community and spread a message of hate and lies to everyone who sees them,” said Patrice O’Neill, CEO/Executive Producer of Not In Our Town. “As we seek to respond, let's be careful about what we amplify. We are stronger than hate, and our communities need to educate themselves on the spread of antisemitism and hate speech that continue to circulate.”
“These flyers are only one manifestation of the problem. The hate speech that is being spread online reaches our young people on a daily basis. The most vital thing we can do is stand up and speak out when we hear or see messages that dehumanize and target our neighbors. We can stop hate, antisemitism and racism, together.”
Frugoli added, “The DA’s Office remains committed to working with our community, Law Enforcement and Not in Our Town to track and prosecute these crimes when we are able.”
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