No crime committed, so antisemitic flyers not a hate crime: Redding police

No crime committed, so antisemitic flyers not a hate crime: Redding police

Redding police say anti-Semitic fliers left anonymously at homes in the city’s Country Heights subdivision last week are not a hate crime.

“That’s what we’re filing it under — a hate incident. There’s no crime that’s been committed. All of the material that’s being distributed falls under free speech,” said Redding Police Sgt. Reagan Ortega.

For the incident to be considered a hate crime, Ortega said, there must be a threat of violence or violence associated with the flyers. “All the materials that are left seem to be the opinions of others,” he said.

The department is documenting each incident, Ortega said, “but we have yet to determine that a crime has occurred.”

Redding police asked for the public’s help as they investigated 100 ‘hate flyers’ left anonymously overnight in the Country Heights subdivision.

The case arose after dozens of antisemitic flyers appeared at homes in the West Redding community on Feb. 10.

Police said they were notified at 7 a.m. Feb. 11 that overnight, “unknown parties distributed over 100 fliers in the city’s Country Heights subdivision near Buenaventura Boulevard in southwest Redding”.

“Some flyers had an anti-Semitic message, others were anti-LGBTQIA+, or related to (COVID-19) vaccination” and directed people to visit an anti-Semitic website, police said.

Police asked for help from nearby residents, who may have seen someone or caught something on their home surveillance cameras.

This is the second incident involving the anonymous distribution of hate material in a Redding community since last July, when similar fliers were left overnight at several East Redding neighborhood homes near Shasta View Drive near Mountain View Middle School and Lema Ranch.

In that case, one-page flyers were spotted in the driveways of homes in the Alder Creek and Hacienda Heights subdivisions.

More:‘Hate crime’ flyers left in Redding neighborhood, marking second anti-Semitic incident in city

At this time, the police said that they are investigating the incident. Ortega said he was not familiar with last summer’s incident.

John Ortel, who lives near Mary Lake in Redding, said he found the “disgusting” literature in his driveway and other driveways in his neighborhood last Sunday night. Flyers were inside clear plastic bags and weighed down with gravel. He said he didn’t have to take the double-sided flyer out of the bag to see his message “because you could clearly read whatever was inside.”

Ortel said she then called police to file a report and an officer showed up shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.

“First, it was Country Heights. Now it’s our neighborhood,” he said. “I can’t believe that in this day and age there are still people who are so consumed with hate that they go out of their way to do this sort of thing.”

Asked if he was surprised by the incident happening in his neighborhood, Ortel said: “Well, it’s Redding, which is part of Shasta County, which is a very conservative area. I wonder if the person or people who put out the flyers compare conservative politics to religious hatred. Do… that Christians hate all Jews. Of course, they don’t. It’s ridiculous to even think.”

Covered by Michelle Chandler Criminal justice issues for Reading Record Searchlight/USA TODAY NETWORK. Follow him on Twitter @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-338-7753 or email [email protected] Support our entire newsroom’s commitment to public service journalism Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Reading Record Searchlight: No crime was committed in Redding, so antisemitic flyers are not a hate crime

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