ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Residents in one St Petersburg neighborhood have been finding disturbing anti-Semitic propaganda in their yards all week long and now police want to know who’s behind the messages.
“I was just hauling stuff in from my car and there was one right here, almost to the curb and I just thought it was litter so I picked it up and put it on the stoop,” Kristi Galloway told ABC Action News.
She lives in the Euclid St Paul’s neighborhood on 20th Ave North and what she picked up on Monday wasn’t meant to be litter.
“My daughter came over, and she's like, ‘Mom, what is that Nazi symbolism thing doing on the front step?’”
It was in fact anti-Semitic propaganda, and she’s been finding more along her street ever since.
“Three days in a row, I just kept finding them,” she exclaimed.
The propaganda was on a flier inside of a zip lock baggie with a rock weight inside.
The top reads: “Tired of the assault on your way of life?” followed by several anti-semitic statements.
“I raised three children, and it's just there's already so much ugliness,” Galloways expressed, “I'll get emotional here in a second. But, you know, we — I have a lot of Jewish friends. It's just disgusting to me, and it really bothered me a lot.”
Galloway said her main concern is the children walking to and from St Paul’s Elementary School down the street.
“It’s back to school this week, and there's a lot of traffic. This is the main thoroughfare where people are coming and going, and taking their kids to school. There's an early childhood center right there,” she added.
Over at Beth-El Shalom on 29th Avenue, Rabbi Jeff Zaremski told ABC Action News that everyone has the right to free speech, but he wishes it wasn’t so hateful.
“They're welcome to their opinion and their decision, and you know, I'm fine with that,” Zaremski said, “But when it turns towards hatred and anger, we need to have some self-introspection and see, why am I so angry, we don't have to be angry at other people. We don't have to hate other people.”
The St Petersburg Police Department said it has taken several calls about these fliers all week, and officers have even picked some up on their own. While police aren't investigating a crime, they are looking into who is behind the propaganda and what their motives may be.
“This is a family-friendly community with lots of young children and families, and this is not how we want our neighborhood to be this is not how we feel we, you know, especially right around here, it's very inclusive,” Galloway said. “Leave us alone, leave people alone.”
Police are asking anyone who may have information or even security camera footage of those responsible to call their non-emergency number at 727-893-7780, or text “SPPD” and your tip to “TIP411".