Police investigate possible hate crimes after Jewish students in Marin targeted with anti-semitic social media posts

Video shows screenshots of the hateful language sent to one Jewish student, after she tried to confront one of the anti-semitic accounts.

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ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Jewish students in Marin targeted in cruel social media posts
Central Marin Police are investigating anti-semitic social media posts targeting students as possible hate crimes.

LARKSPUR, Calif. (KGO) -- Central Marin Police are investigating anti-semitic social media posts targeting students as possible hate crimes.

Two weeks ago, someone opened an Instagram account with an offensive caricature that said, "Redwood Students organized in anti semitism. Currently compiling a google doc of Jews in the district. Hit us up if you want to help! wehatej3ws dot com."

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"This is what happened in Nazi Germany, when they collected a list of Jewish names, targeted them for slaughter. So some of these students who were targeted, this is how their grandparents and great grandparents were killed," said Stacy Friedman, the Senior Rabbi at Congregation Rodef Shalom in San Rafael.

She says Jewish students have been increasingly targeted at schools in Marin.

"Children have found swastikas on their lockers, on their books, their cars in the parking lots. These are things we've been hearing about the past few years," she said.

Recently, a photo of a young person holding a shell casing while wearing a helmet with a swastika, circulated on Snapchat among Marin students.

Rabbi Friedman says a Jewish Terra Linda High School student was also attacked on Zoom.

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"Another student said all Jews and all Israelis deserve to go to hell," she said.

Emma, a Jewish student who just graduated from Tamalpais High, said an Instagram account that read, "Redwood High School students organized against semitism" followed her a few weeks ago.

She flagged the account as hateful, but when Instagram didn't take it down immediately, she messaged the poster.

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"They initially told me it was a joke and they wanted to see how many people they could get riled up," explained Emma. In one of the screen shots she provided to ABC7, the Instagram poster identified as "a group of people".

Emma messaged the poster a lengthy explanation about the hurt caused by even joking in an anti-semitic manner and the poster responded with more hateful language.

"They ended up saying 'you stole my money' and 'your existence offends me', so it escalated relatively quickly."

"The posts are reprehensible," said Redwood High School Principal David Sondheim, who explained the school is investigating.

"The offenses they have committed are suspendable and expellable and I would expect to, if we can identify them as Redwood students."

Central Marin Police tell ABC7 the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force is on the case.