Missoula Police Discover Source of Anti-Semitic Leaflets – Elderly Man In Assisted Living Facility
As a large crowd squeezed into the meeting room at the Har Shalom synagogue to hear speakers address the topic of anti-Semitic hate speech, it was revealed that Missoula police had discovered the source of the material ostensibly from the American Nazi Party.
It was Mayor John Engen who revealed the fact that Missoula Police had tracked down the material to one elderly man who apparently resides in an assisted living facility, according to Police Chief Mike Brady.
"We've been going out to the neighborhoods where this literature had been distributed, talking to neighbors, and we've located a person responsible for what we consider to be the majority of it, if not all of it," Brady said. "It's an older gentleman living in an assisted living home, and we're trying to address the issue through the family."
The gathering featured speakers from the inter-faith community, as well as Mayor Engen, Missoula City Councilor Marilyn Marler and Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott.
"As the chief law enforcement officer for Missoula County, I just want to assure you that law enforcement takes the spreading of hateful rhetoric very seriously," McDermott said. "We have a zero tolerance on this. Although I am a supporter of the First Amendment, it does not allow for someone's freedom to target, or to make the ugly jump to violence against any individual or group of people. So, I'm here today to let you know that lae enforcement stands with you, and as your sheriff I will do everything in my power to confront and condemn hate when it occurs and to uphold the statement of belief of 'never again'.
The crowd was encouraged to take the image of the Menorah printed in the Missoulian newspaper and place it in their window through the holiday season, as part of the 'A Menorah For Missoula' campaign by Empower Montana..