After residents of the Palisades neighbourhood here awoke on Thursday to find antisemitic flyers left in their driveways, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation. The two flyers that were left on people’s doors in Lake County contained hateful rhetoric directed at Jews.
Authorities had no leads as of Thursday afternoon regarding who might have disseminated the offensive materials. That’s the kind of thing that’s going around; I got a call about it this morning, too. Clermont Police Department Sgt. Erin Razo said, “We’re already handling it.” It is not thought that there is any imminent danger to anyone or anything.
There is a lot of Nazi symbolism on both flyers, like the Vertical Wolfsangel and the SS Doppel Sigrune.
I was in disbelief, to put it mildly. Kathy Weaver, a local of the Palisades, claims that the flyers were dropped off in hundreds of driveways by placing plastic bags laden with rocks on top of them. Weaver: “My husband is the one that went out and got the newspaper and he brought it in and opened it up and showed me what it was — I was just shocked.”
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The investigation is being headed up by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Help is being provided by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange and the Clermont Police Department. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of anti-Semitic literature being distributed in residential neighbourhoods across the county in a Facebook post, saying, “The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is aware of several cases of anti-Semitic literature being disseminated in residential neighbourhoods in different parts of the county over the recent few days.”
The incidents have been reported, the relevant literature has been collected, and detectives are currently conducting their investigations. You can safely dispose of any similar literature you come across (often left in zip-lock bags on lawns or driveways) because the Sheriff’s Office has already amassed a sufficient amount for use as evidence.
Furthermore, the Sheriff’s Office requests that anyone who has surveillance footage of a person or vehicle abandoning the pamphlets contact them. According to the rest of the post, “this situation is not unique to Lake County,” and similar incidents have been reported by law enforcement agencies across the country.
A widespread issue, not just in Florida Suburban Boca Raton, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, and Orlando have all been mentioned in reports of antisemitic flyer distribution in those areas’ residential districts. Weaver remarked, “I find this very alarming, and I know that other communities around the country are receiving identical shipments.”
I have no idea if it’s the same group, but whichever one it is, it’s very disturbing. Regrettably, it’s a terrifying period. According a Palm Beach Post report, last week more than 90 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas asking him to do more to fight antisemitism and prosecute hate crimes such as these.