MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are investigating a startling and hurtful sight after antisemitic flyers seen in parts of Miami Beach and Surfside left residents concerned for their safety.
Miami Beach Police were made aware Sunday of the flyers distributed in residential neighborhoods and outside religious buildings.
Surfside Police confirmed the flyers were spotted there as well.
The flyers, folded inside clear plastic bags filled with rocks, imply Jewish people are responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re afraid now that something bad could happen to us, as Jews living in Miami Beach,” said an area resident who asked not to be identified or show his face on camera.
Surveillance video captured the sound of a bag being thrown outside a Miami Beach home, as a car was seen driving slowly on up the upper lefthand corner of the frame.
“It’s a hate crime. I think it’s a hate crime,” said a man.
“The message is just very frightening,” said another area resident.
Neighbors reached out to 7News after, they said, they woke up Sunday to find the bags in their front yards.
“The front [of the flyer] is labeled, ‘Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish,'” said a resident, “and then goes through the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] director, deputy, medical officer, all the different people that are involved with COVID, and puts the word ‘Jewish’ next to them.”
The bottom of the flyers read, “These flyers were distributed randomly and without malicious intent.'”
Area residents said that what’s written on the back of the flyers is even worse.
“One of the things they say is to ‘sacrifice people, including Jews, sometimes when necessary,'” said a resident. “I mean, that is, to me, that’s hate speech.”
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber confirmed that police are increasing patrols around these neighborhoods and religious institutions.
“We want to make it clear to people that there’s no room for this,” he said. “It’s just horrible, and we’re not just going to sit around and let it happen.”
Local leaders said a full investigation is currently underway.
“Whatever evidence we can find that allows us to find that crime, that even meets that terrible feeling and sense of hatred in Florida law, we will utilize it,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
Miami Beach residents who spoke with 7News said they’re glad the flyers are being investigated, but the damage is already done.
“Now, I have more fear in my heart, and I’m distrustful of more people,” said a resident, “and I think that they’re accomplishing their mission.”
Monday afternoon, Fort Lauderdale Police said a flyer was found in the Coral Ridge neighborhood.
If you received one of these flyers or have any information that could help police, call Miami Beach Police at 305-673-7901 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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