Thursday, July 11, 2019

EPD Identifies Juvenile Responsible for Hate Group Fliers, Says no Immediate Threat of Violence

Posted By on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 3:35 PM

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The Eureka Police Department has issued a press release with some additional information, which can be found here.

The Eureka Police Department has identified a male juvenile believed to be responsible for posting white supremacist recruiting fliers around town, interviewed him and determined there doesn’t appear to be an immediate physical threat to the community.

“He was identified with the assistance of family,” EPD Chief Steve Watson said. “In fact, a family member brought him in here very concerned. The family is very upset to find out what happened and to find out their son was involved in this. They did the right thing, which we very much appreciate.”

Watson said there's no indication that the hate group referenced on the flier has much of a local foothold.

“It does not appear at this stage as if there is some large, active group here in Humboldt County,” Watson said. “He may have acted alone.”

EPD became aware of the fliers yesterday, after a picture of one posted in the Henderson Center area in the morning began circulating on social media. Emblazoned with the image of an assault rifle, the flier read: “White youth! This entire system hates you and wants to see our race dead organize with us and bring an end to it.” The flier included an email address and the name of a hate group tied to a blog spot web page started earlier this month that included a manifesto outlining its ideology, which is militant, anti-establishment, anti-Semitic and overtly racist. Among other things, the site contained references to America being “infested” by minorities, saying the country was “never meant to be a melting pot” but a “shining beacon of true Aryan spirit.”

Watson said EPD identified the juvenile believed to be responsible — who Watson described as being “multi-racial” — last night and interviewed him this morning.

“From that, we don’t believe there is a present direct physical threat to the community,” Watson said. “Obviously, we’re deeply concerned about the hate speech and the fear that can create in the community and this will remain an open investigation and we’ll continue to monitor what’s taking place with this group and this individual. This is not done just because we’ve identified the subject and set some very clear expectations. We’ll continue to monitor.”

Watson said EPD has been in contact and consulting with the FBI and other state and federal partners. The juvenile was not arrested, Watson said, and it doesn’t appear as though he committed a crime.

“Beyond condemning the hate and not tolerating it, here’s a young person at a crossroads,” Watson said. “Where is their life going to go and how did they start down this path to post something like this and connect with a group that’s so deplorable? Where do we go from here and how do we help prevent this young man from continuing down this path of hate? This is something this community can’t and won’t tolerate, including law enforcement agencies. But this is also a troubled youth, and we need to look at how to help him and how he got on this path.”

Watson said EPD will work with the juvenile’s family to find a local program that may be able to help him. The chief added that he’s grateful to local citizens who reported the fliers to law enforcement, and encouraged the same vigilance in the future, asking that anyone who sees a flier or publicly displayed materials promoting hate groups — or recruiting for them — report them to police. And Watson said, this is an important reminder to parents to keep close tabs on their children.

“There is a big message here that parents, you need to talk to your kids about hate and bias and you need to monitor not just their real-life friends who they see face to face but also who they spend time with online,” he said. “Who they communicate with online is often just as important as who they communicate with in person.”

Editor's note: The Journal has made the editorial choice of not including this hate group's name or linking to its social media accounts or website because we are not in the business of promoting hate groups or doing anything that could aid their recruiting efforts.
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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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