ashland.news
June 14, 2024

Antisemitic messages left on Ashland doorsteps

The Ashland Police Department patch design.
November 28, 2023

Plastic bags containing link to hate speech website distributed in several Rogue Valley locations 

Ashland.news staff report

Plastic baggies holding sand and a hate-speech message ended up on doorsteps throughout Phoenix, Medford, Ashland and Central Point late Sunday or early Monday, according to a Facebook post Monday by the Ashland Police Department.

A photo posted by an Ashland social media account that has since been removed showed what appeared to be quart-sized, zip-closed bags about a third filled with sand — possibly so they could be tossed onto sidewalks from a moving vehicle — enclosing a slip of paper printed with a QR Code linking to an antisemitic website on Telegram Messenger, an encrypted communications service that can be used to keep the sender’s identity private.

According to social media posts, the bags were found early Monday morning in a number of Ashland neighborhoods. Similar incidents recently occurred in Eugene and Springfield,  according to Ashland Chief of Police Tighe O’Meara.

Besides the QR Code, a small, square digital code that can be read by smartphone scanners, the slips of paper read simply, “It’s the Jews,” O’Meara wrote in an email Tuesday. 

“Some of the bags also had a link to a website with some general hate speech videos on it,” he wrote. 

In its Facebook post, the APD urged anyone with security camera recordings or other information about the bags to call the department at 541-482-5211, or its anonymous tip line at 541-552-2333, or email tipline@ashland.or.us.

Email Ashland.news at news@ashland.news.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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