No charges will be filed over antisemitic flyers in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs

Police say no charges will be filed against people who left antisemitic flyers in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.

Chief Billy Grogan of the Dunwoody Police Department told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims that after conferring with the District Attorney’s office, no charges are appropriate because it’s a “free speech issue.”

He said the fliers contained no threats or calls to action.

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One of those who received a flyer at her home early this month was state Rep. Esther Panitch, the only Jewish member of the Georgia legislature.

She’s a co-sponsor of House Bill 30, which targets crimes against Jewish people.

For example, it would ban using swastikas with the intent to terrorize another person.

The House Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly passed the measure, and it could soon go to a vote in the full House.

“Antisemitism is on the rise,” said Panitch at a news conference at the State Capitol Wednesday. “I ran (for office) because extremism is on the rise, specifically antisemitism is on the rise.”


Mark Goldfeder of the National Jewish Advocacy Center said the bill defines exactly what antisemitism is.

“It gives officials a standard definition of what antisemitism means to be considered when they’re assessing the intent behind unlawful, discriminatory actions or hate crimes,” Goldfeder said.

He said the bill does not infringe on anyone’s first amendment rights.

“It does not criminalize or limit or chill speech,” Goldfeder said. “It does not limit or chill antisemitic speech. It does not limit or chill anti-Israel speech. It has nothing to do with speech.”

In the case of the antisemitic flyers, police determined no crime had occurred.

Even if House Bill 30 had been law, sponsors said it would not have made a difference.

“Because there already has to be an underlying crime or unlawful act,” Panitch said. “What happened was disgusting, but it was protected under the First Amendment. So this bill would not affect what just happened to me and hundreds of others in the Jewish community.”

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