Wisconsin man distributing antisemitic flyers charged with littering, not hate crime

Kenosha Police Dept. says flyers don’t fit state or local laws as a hate crime.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

A man in Kenosha, Wisc., has been charged with 23 counts of littering and issued $4,300 in citations after distributing 500 antisemitic flyers in February, local stations reported on Friday.

Lt. Joseph Nosalik of the Kenosha Police Dept. said the 56-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released, printed the flyers off an undisclosed white supremacist web site. The flyers blamed the Jewish community for the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns. Other flyers accused Jews of controlling the media.

“We were finding them on windshields of cars, they were distributed in people’s front yards, driveways, on the sidewalks,” he said.

However Lt. Nosalik said the case does not fit under state or local laws as a hate crime, and the citations did not mention antisemitism.

According to the KPD, flyers are technically a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment. The suspect is instead being charged with violating a local littering ordinance.

Local Jews were upset the suspect was not being charged with hate crimes.

“The flyers come from a long history of accusing the Jews of anything and everything to ferment hatred, and hatred leads to violence, and that’s terrifying,” Marilyn Propp told local TMJ4 News.

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“I had distant cousins killed in the Holocaust. This is not a simple thing. This is not littering. This is a hate crime,” she said.

Propp described finding a flyer for the first time in February inside a plastic bag weighed down with some rice on the sidewalk.

“I picked it up and I opened it and it was this horrible screed, this horrible antisemitic piece of paper blaming Jews for Covid. Listing all the Jews in government that are behind this conspiracy and I just went cold inside,” Propp said.

“To find it is a really frightening intrusion on our life here,” she said. “That you would be a target of hate, it doesn’t make sense. It’s shocking. This is not Germany in 1940.”