CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Antisemitic flyers found in St. George neighborhood and nationwide

Jul 28, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 10:21 am

Antisemitic flyers found in St. George, Utah. The FBI is aware of the situation....

The FBI's field office in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Antisemitic flyers found in a St. George neighborhood appear to be the most recent example of a nationwide trend. 

Someone put the flyers in Ziploc bags and weighed them down with rice. The flyers repeat hateful, debunked assertions about Jewish people.

But similar antisemitic flyers have turned up in other plastic baggies. In all cases, whoever placed the flyers weighed the baggies down with either rice or corn. And they were found in a number of other places. KSL found reports of antisemitic flyers in baggies, discovered found from Colorado to Minnesota to New York to Florida, and more.

Read more: FBI Confidential: Hate crimes know no boundaries

The FBI Salt Lake City division said it is aware of the antisemitic messaging in St. George. It is working with local partners on the situation. The division asked residents to stay vigilant and report suspicious activity.

The Anti-Defamation League said antisemitic incidents are up by about a third nationwide from a year ago.

To date, no group has claimed responsibility for these flyers. 

Antisemitic flyers: Hate speech or hate crime?

Local agencies may investigate potential hate crimes, but not always. In an interview with the KSL podcast FBI Confidential in 2018, Supervisory Special Agent Michelle Pickens said the FBI frequently becomes involved after a local agency alerts them to a possible hate crime.

The flyers could constitute hate speech rather than a hate crime. In that interview, Pickens said hate speech may be offensive but not necessarily threatening. 

“The difference is, hate speech is – though it may be offensive to most people, it is protected under the First Amendment,” she said.

Supreme Court rulings have established what the limits of those rights are; First Amendment protections do not extend to threats. 

“One of the benefits and liberties we have, living in our country, is that you can say whatever you want,” Pickens said. “Where you cross the line, where that becomes a potential hate crime is a threat. And if there is a threat in that speech that is directed towards an individual, because of a protection [such as race, religion, orientation, etc.] . . . and you threatened that individual, or that individual perceived that as a significant threat that you could carry out, that’s where you cross the line into it being a potential hate crime.” 

This story has replaced a previous story published by KSL NewsRadio to reflect information from confirmed sources.

More:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

kansas city shooting...

NICK INGRAM Associated Press

2 adults are charged with murder in the deadly shooting at Kansas City’s Super Bowl celebration

The new charges come after two juveniles were charged for the Kansas City shooting last week.

6 hours ago

Police in Tooele, Utah, have arrested a 9-year-old child for allegedly shooting and killing an adul...

Adam Small

Tooele police arrest 9-year-old child in fatal shooting of adult relative

It's unclear if the child has been charged. Tooele police said there was at least one other person in the home at the time.

8 hours ago

Ruby Franke appears in a virtual court appearance....

Josh Ellis

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt receive prison sentences for aggravated child abuse

Ruby Franke was sentenced to four terms of one-to-15 years in prison that will be served consecutively.

11 hours ago

Karen Crawford was last seen near Fashion Place Mall on Thursday Feb. 15, 2024. Any information can...

MARY CULBERTSON

Tooele County woman missing from Murray for 4 days

Karen Lee Crawford, 43, was last seen wearing a blue dress with white polka dots, a black softshell baggy coat, and silver flat shoes.

1 day ago

FILE: Purple flags at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. A Utah lawmaker says it's too easy for a rest...

Don Brinkerhoff

Domestic violence penalties would increase for restricted persons

HB166 would make domestic violence by a restricted person a second-degree felony, punishable by one year in jail.

1 day ago

Tayler Gutierrez, of Sandy, performs the Jingle Dress dance during an event to raise awareness for ...

Adam Small

Bill would continue funding Utah Murdered and Missing Indigenous Relatives Task Force

Native Americans account for 1.5% of Utah's population, but make up over 5% of the state's murder victims.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Antisemitic flyers found in St. George neighborhood and nationwide