San Francisco police are investigating the distribution of flyers in Pacific Heights that falsely accuse Jewish people of causing the Covid pandemic.
The antisemitic flyers were found this past weekend along Pacific Avenue between Baker and Scott streets by a resident who then called the SFPD tip line and posted about the incident on Nextdoor. Another couple found similar flyers, which were placed inside sandwich bags and weighted down with rice on Union Street. They shared the disturbing discovery with NBC Bay Area.
The flyers are consistent with others disseminated by the Goyim Defense League in similar incidents across the country in recent months, including in Southern California, Texas, and Florida. The Anti-Defamation League has profiled the group and identified its leader as Petaluma resident Jon Minadeo. According to a recent report by the Daily Beast, Minadeo, who describes himself as an actor and screenwriter, live-streamed a swastika burning in Austin last November. That incident took place hours after a fire was set at a local synagogue. Minadeo denied any connection to the arson.
According to the ADL, Minadeo has been active in disseminating antisemitic propaganda, wrongly alleging that Jewish people are responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic and the September 11 attacks, among other anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Members of the group have engaged in tours and street actions to spread these lies since late 2019.
According to the Washington Post, similar flyers were distributed Sunday night in parts of Miami Beach and a neighboring city in what appears to be a coordinated effort.
District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani called out the racist literature on Twitter and demanded an investigation.
Let me be very clear: this kind of anti-Semitic hatred has no place in our city. I’ve been in touch with SFPD and intend to see these individuals held accountable. https://t.co/i8kpOaa1PR— Catherine Stefani (@Stefani4CA) January 24, 2022
SFPD issued the following statement on its investigation: “On January 23, 2022 San Francisco Police officers from Northern Station received reports of suspicious fliers in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. Officers located multiple fliers that contained anti-Semitic language. Officers collected the fliers, canvassed the scene for additional evidence, and authored an incident report.”
The SFPD Special Investigations Division is handling the incident. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with “SFPD.”
Mike Ege can be reached at [email protected]