Anti-semitic fliers have been spread all over Kenosha since last year. Police cited a man for littering last week. (Kenosha Police Department)
The Kenosha Police Department identified and cited a 56-year-old man who had been distributing anti-semitic fliers across the city for months.
The man, whom the Kenosha News identified as Kenosha resident Jeffrey Kidden, was cited $4,301 by the police department last week for violating the city’s littering ordinance.
Kidden, according to Wisconsin court records, has no prior criminal history in the state.
The police department began investigating the appearance of the anti-semitic fliers in December of last year. At least a dozen times since then, the fliers were left under vehicle’s windshield wipers, in people’s yards and on public sidewalks.
The fliers reference conspiracy theories about Jewish people and were often placed in plastic bags filled with rocks to keep them in place.
Kenosha Police Department Lt. Joseph Nosalik said in a statement that even though distribution of fliers is protected under the First Amendment, concerns from the community led the department to continue investigating and ultimately cite Kidden for violating the city’s littering ordinance.
“Technically, the flier is a form of free speech, protected by First Amendment; however, many members of the Kenosha community had very deep concerns regarding the materials, even questioning if the distribution qualified as a hate crime,” Nosalik said. “It does not, pursuant to WI § 939.645 which covers crimes committed against certain people or property. Recognizing the fear and concerns surrounding the flier distribution, KPD committed to continuing the investigation, which we did.”
On Aug. 10, the department issued 23 citations against Kidden for violating the littering ordinance, which states that people cannot “throw, place or deposit any paper, glass, bottle, cans, containers, grass clippings, rubbish, waste, filth or other debris upon private property without consent of the owner or occupant, or upon the streets, alleys, highways, sidewalks, parks, or beaches, or into any pond, stream, river or lake.” Each violation of the littering ordinance comes with a fine of $187.
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