Ohio: Police Arrest Man For Distributing 'Illegal' Anti-Semitic Fliers, Charge Him With 'Ethnic Intimidation'

Chris Menahan
Sep. 15, 2023

The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that so-called "hate speech" is protected by the First Amendment but Sandusky police in Ohio are trying to get around the law by charging a man with "ethnic intimidation" for distributing anti-Semitic fliers they claim are "illegal."

Sandusky police on Thursday released video of themselves arresting Austin J. Rogers, 22, at his home in Sandusky for distributing political fliers from the "Goyim Defense League" (examples of which can be viewed here).

"Why are you putting bags [with fliers inside of them] in the driveways all around here?" the cop asks. "Why you putting the bags with the rice in the driveways?"

"Uh, fliering?" Rogers responds.

"Fliers?" the cop says.

"Yeah, it's not illegal," Rogers responds.

"Yeah it is," the cop says before ordering Rogers to stand up and submit to arrest.

"You think people want to see that shit man?" a female or nonbinary cop dressed like a man says. "You have your own beliefs but you don't got to push them off on everybody."

Sandusky police Chief Jared Oliver made it clear that Rogers was arrested for his beliefs by plainly telling the media: "There is no place in our community for those types of beliefs."

"Officers and detectives were familiar with Rogers due to an October 2022 case that led to two felony counts of menacing by stalking, one misdemeanor count of menacing by stalking and two counts of misdemeanor telephone harassment," The Sandusky Register reports. "In that case, Rogers' attorney filed a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in November. That case has not yet been resolved."

In this fliering case, Rogers is facing one count of ethnic intimidation -- a fifth-degree felony -- and two misdemeanor charges for aggravated menacing and littering, the Register reported.

Regardless of Rogers' character or insanity, the First Amendment is sacrosanct and "ethnic intimidation," "aggravated menacing" and "littering" laws must not be allowed to be used to create de facto hate speech laws.

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