Oregon City, OR – Police are investigating after a series of flyers containing hate speech were left in driveways and yards in three Oregon City neighborhoods over the weekend, coinciding with a so-called “National Day of Hate” prompted by neo-Nazi groups online.
One of the targeted neighborhoods is tucked off Molalla Avenue, near a middle school.
“It’s not funny and whoever’s doing this should be ashamed of themselves,” said one neighbor who found one of the flyers on his front yard. “I pick it up and I saw all the three K’s and the white power.”
The Oregon City Police department has canvassed the neighborhoods where the flyers were reported and forwarded its police report to the Oregon Department of Justice as a bias incident, according to a news release from the city.
“I think it’s ridiculous that we have that in our country these days,” said Captain David Edwins at the Oregon City Police Department. He said police picked up more than 20 of the flyers over the weekend.
A bias incident isn’t the same thing as a bias crime, Edwins added, but said that “while it’s not a crime at this point, you never know what it will turn into.”
It’s unfortunately not the only such incident in Oregon City recently, there was an incident about two months ago where someone was “propagating some anti-Semitic hate as well,” he said.
Multiple news outlets reported last week that neo-Nazis and other online hate groups had announced plans on social media to hold a “National Day of Hate” on Saturday, prompting public officials, including New York Governor Kathy Hochul, to announce extra security plans.
“It makes me sick that we have a National Day of Hate. Why would we — there’s enough going on in the world as it is right now anyway,” said another neighbor back in Oregon City.
Mayor Denyse McGriff, Oregon City’s first Black mayor, said she was “appalled that this is happening in our city.”
“Oregon City values are founded on understanding, inclusivity and tolerance,” she said in a statement. “The fact that someone feels the need to spread such hate-filled, hurtful messaging, shows that despite how far we have come, we still have a lot of work to do. I urge anyone who sees these flyers to remove them, or contact the police department’s non-emergency number.”
Police Chief Jim Band said his department is investigating the nature of the flyers and who distributed them.