GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — No charges will be issued after antisemitic flyers were distributed in at least two Kent County communities, the prosecutor’s office announced Wednesday.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said after reviewing the report and applicable law, the prosecutor’s office could not file any criminal charges.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department had submitted a request for two charges — one count of ethnic intimidation and one count of littering on private property, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“Decisions to file criminal charges are often very fact specific. There may be a scenario where similar behavior leads to criminal charges, I would not take from this decision that this behavior is always protected or approved of in any way. The flyers are reprehensible. However, I must follow the law, and when examining these facts under the controlling legal principles, I am unable to find any appropriate criminal charges for the individual’s conduct,” Becker said in a news release Wednesday.
Becker said the evidence did not support either charge because there was no specific threat, so ethnic intimidation charges could not be issued. In addition, state littering law prevents garbage or “filth” from being dumped, but the flyers did not meet those standards.
Target 8 learned the person allegedly seen tossing offensive flyers onto driveways in the Caledonia area is a 43-year-old man from Mt. Morris, a town north of Flint in Genesee County.
The flyers were filled with antisemitic hate speech, blaming Jewish people for everything from the war in Ukraine to the attacks on the World Trade Center.