A man was caught on video leaving anti-Semitic flyers on vehicles in Evesham Township, New Jersey, on Oct. 19. His description is identical to that of a man who left anti-Semitic flyers in the area on Oct. 10. The Evesham Police Department released a statement on Facebook in response to both incidents.
Officers responded to a call around 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Evesham. Patrons called police after finding hand-typed printouts on three vehicles. One flyer appeared to contain anti-Israel statements while the rest were anti-Jewish in nature.
Witnesses described an older white male, medium build with a paunch, combover hairstyle and wearing a teal jumpsuit, as the one distributing the flyers. Investigators recovered a video of the suspect in the act. Around 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, a man matching that description was seen leaving anti-Semitic flyers on vehicles at the Marlton Crossing Shopping Center in Evesham. Officers searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect. About 75 flyers were recovered from the scene along with a surveillance video of the suspect.
Lt. Joseph Friel of the Evesham Township Police Department told the Jewish Exponent the department has received several leads and is currently investigating the incident. As to crimes committed, he said it’s a violation of Evesham’s Clean Community Code to leave a flyer on any vehicle in the township. The department is also looking into whether the incident violates the state’s bias intimidation law. In the Facebook post, Chief of Police Christopher Chew condemned the perpetrator as did Evesham Township Mayor Jaclyn Veasy.
“Evesham Township has absolutely zero tolerance for such flagrant anti-Semitism, or any other form of evil and bigotry in our town,” Veasy said. “I call on all of Evesham’s residents and businesses to come together at this time and join me in condemning such shameless displays of hatred. I also have full faith that our highly decorated ETPD will not relent in the investigation of this incident until police can identify anyone responsible and see that they’re prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Robin Burstein, senior associate regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia, praised the mayor for her statement. In 2018, the ADL documented 1,187 incidents of white supremacist propaganda distributed in the U.S., a 182% increase over the previous year. That number has been surpassed by more than 500 in the first nine months of 2019. Burstein said groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Identity Evropa distribute their message through flyers as a means to remain anonymous. While some may argue distributing flyers is free speech, Burstein has a counter.
“Just because that man who is distributing the flyers has the right to say what he is saying on those flyers, we, as the rest of the community, have the right and the obligation to stand up and speak out against the message on those flyers and to stand together for unity and inclusiveness,” Burstein said.