DENVER — The Denver Police Department's Bias Motivated Crime Unit is investigating after residents in the Country Club neighborhood reported finding fliers containing antisemitic language Sunday.
The fliers were encapsulated in a clear snack bag, weighed down with rice and thrown onto multiple yards.
"As of [Monday] morning, we've had about two dozen people contact us about these atrocious fliers," said Scott Levin, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. "It's more than a hate crime. It's a hate incident, which can be just as harmful."
The fliers were also discovered in Arvada, he says. Authorities in California, Texas, Maryland and Florida have reported finding similar fliers.
.@DenverPolice’s Bias Motivated Crime Unit is investigating after anti-Semitic flyers were distributed in Denver’s Country Club neighborhood yesterday. @ADLMtnStates says it’s received about two dozen reports. Same flyers also found in CA, FL, MD & TX. More at 5. @DenverChannel pic.twitter.com/Mzwpvtwcip— Pattrik Perez (@PattrikPerez) January 24, 2022
"This organization is very openly antisemitic," said Levin. "It tries to raise attention to its issues of conspiracy theories and lies about Jews by getting people riled up."
Denver7 spoke with Country Club residents who did not want to discuss the fliers on camera due to fear of retaliation. One homeowner said she picked up about a dozen fliers from her neighbors' yards to protect her elderly Jewish neighbors.
"When these types of things are done, and these lies are spread, it normalizes antisemitism," Levin said. "Unfortunately, we find that violence sometimes follows normalization."
Denver's dark past with antisemitism combined with attacks at synagogues across the country, most recently in Texas, make the timing of these messages even more concerning.
"When you get up in the morning to go out and get your newspaper, you can be just as upset when you see this type of activity take place," Levin said.
Following the hostage situation at a Texas synagogue, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned faith-based communities they will likely continue to be targets of violence.
The Denver Police investigation is in its early stages, a spokesperson said Monday. Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
"This isn't something that just happens back East or in the South," Levin said. "We need to be worried about it here in Colorado."