Anti-Semitic Fliers Distributed At City Council Meeting in Vt - NECN
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Anti-Semitic Fliers Distributed At City Council Meeting in Vt

Burlington’s police chief said the woman behind the handout has a history of mental health struggles

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    NEWSLETTERS

    City leaders in Burlington, Vermont are rejecting the content of a hate-filled letter that was distributed at a City Council meeting. Jack Thurston reports. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016)

    City leaders in Burlington, Vermont are rejecting the content of a hate-filled letter that was distributed inside the auditorium where the Burlington City Council meeting held its Monday night session.

    “Let’s remember what our Pledge of Allegiance says,” said Jane Knodell, the Burlington City Council president. “It’s one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And the person who wrote this flier doesn’t adhere to those beliefs. And we in the city do.”

    The rambling, hard-to-decipher flier claimed the administration of Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger is behind a shadowy, "white genocide" aiming to gut the city of Christianity as it supports aggressive redevelopment projects that will benefit Jewish people.

    Chief Brandon del Pozo of the Burlington Police Department, who is Jewish, said it appears the rant came from a woman with a history of mental health struggles.

    “We don’t think this is escalating behavior,” del Pozo observed.

    Del Pozo said the case is not being treated as a crime. Still, he urged the public to report suspected bias incidents.

    “I’ve had to contend with some anti-Semitism in my life, and that makes me take not only anti-Semitism seriously, but discrimination against any person very seriously,” the police chief added.

    Del Pozo said the woman he suspects of producing the fliers does not have a history of physical threats toward others. He said officers are working with an outreach team to get the woman professional help.

    The flier named Kelly Devine of the Burlington Business Association as part of the supposed conspiracy.

    Devine told necn the flier’s author was misinformed when describing her religious identity as Jewish, and incorrect in implying she is part of the Weinberger administration.

    Devine said at first, she was rattled, but she explained she now sees the case as a call to improve services for people suffering from mental health problems.

    “I hope this can serve as a good reminder to all of us that, at the base level, we’re all neighbors,” Devine said. “At the end of the end of the day, we need to work together and share this community that we all love.”

    Mayor Weinberger was not available for comment. His office said he is on vacation with family in China, visiting the birthplace of his adopted daughter.

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