MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Fort Bend County Judge KP George is condemning anti-Semitic flyers found in a Missouri City neighborhood.
Police said on Wednesday, Missouri City Police Department received a call from a resident who was walking through his neighborhood in what's called the Plantation area.
The resident found about 84 clear plastic bags that were of different colors. Some of the bags contained beans or rice inside, along with two different types of flyers. One had a flyer referencing the agenda of COVID-19 and allegedly blaming Jewish people. Another bag had two flyers, and some of those flyers referenced a religious practice.
Neighbors told ABC13 they were shocked, heartbroken and scared. A very concerned resident agreed to speak with ABC13 but did not want to share their name due to fear of retaliation.
"I was stunned," the concerned resident said. "We don't want it. We don't want that type of anti-Semitic flyers in our neighborhood."
Missouri Police Lt. Russell Terry was notified of the flyers on Wednesday.
Officers canvassed the area and found more bags with similar flyers along nearby neighboring streets. ABC13 walked along Kellyway Lane and Connies Court Lane on Thursday and found similar bags with the flyers previously described, on the sidewalk and residents' driveways. Those were turned in to police as evidence.
Detectives believe the bags with anti-Semitic flyers may have appeared Wednesday between midnight and 6 a.m. Detectives are also working with the Anti-Defamation League, Southwest Regional Office to help in this investigation.
"Really recognize just how strong and inclusive that Fort Bend County is and the individuals that live there," Mark Toubin, the Anti-Defamation League Southwest Regional Director said. "It's probably the most diverse county in this country. The way the people have responded is exactly the way we would hope people would respond. It's saying 'No' to antisemitism. It's saying 'No' to hate. It's saying 'No' to extremism."
Toubin encourages if residents in the neighborhood or neighboring counties find something that should be reported, first notify the police and you can also get ADL involved by submitting an incident report online.
"Unfortunately, there has been an increase in these kinds of incidents just over the last few weeks and months," Toubin said, "In 2020, there was an all-time record for the dissemination of white supremacist propaganda and this year I'm afraid that we're going to exceed that record that was set in 2020. It's horrific to look at but it's also concerning for the people that have to deal with that. That has to receive this information and so we're very concerned for them as well."
Destry Bell, Pastor of Christ Temple the People's Church, saw images of the flyers for the first time on Thursday.
"Wow," Bell said visibly shocked. "My reaction is one of heartbreak because after all these years to think that we still have people who are sick and have this certain thought about people who are of another ethnicity, other than theirs is quite heartbreaking."
Bell said he has just one message for the community as they try to process and get through this together.
"God never promised that every day would be easy or that life would be easy," Bell said. "But he did promise to fight our battles and to secure our victories. So if we just hold on and do what we can do to make our communities better, we can rise beyond racism and everybody will win."
Officers are also asking anyone with surveillance video capturing who may have done this to turn that to the Missouri City Police Department.
Detectives are still working to determine what possible charges, if any, the suspect(s) would face.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George released the following statement on Thursday:
"In Fort Bend County, we welcome the rich and colorful tapestry of all communities. Racial, ethnic, and antisemitic terror have no place anywhere, especially not in Fort Bend County. The concerning surge of hate we've seen in the last several years is not acceptable and is a danger that threatens us all.
Discrimination and harassment of individuals or groups based on race, religion, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, citizenship, or any other identity are intolerable. As County Judge of one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the country, I want to make clear that we all must stand together and condemn racism, antisemitism, and discrimination in all forms.
Our community leaders, law enforcement and I share the concern that these disturbing acts of intolerance are equally distressing and harmful to individuals and our communities.
Fort Bend County is leading the way on how a diverse community can come together as one and be inspired and dedicated to meeting and building relationships with each other in various communities outside of their normal purview.
The values of diversity, inclusion, respect, and civility are fundamental. Hatred and violence against Jewish people, African Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, LGBTQ+ communities, immigrants, refugees, and others are despicable. We must come together in this country and in our communities to end hate, racism, antisemitism, and intolerance."
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Community, leaders condemn anti-Semitic flyers found in Missouri City: 'We can rise beyond racism'
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