Washington – Pictures of swastika-ed teens with inflammatory captions and tweets threatening violence against Lakewood residents may not have been considered criminal by Ocean County prosecutors, but a Senator representing the area’s large Jewish community has pledged to refer the matter to the Department of Justice.
Senator Bob Menendez was made aware of the social media posts at a meeting yesterday in Washington DC with members of Agudath Israel of America’s national board of trustees. The senator appeared visibly shocked when handed a printout of the tweets which were determined to be non-threatening in nature several days ago by the county prosecutor’s office.
As reported by the Asbury Park Press, one read “I really wanna drive around Lakewood and run over every Jew with my car” and another, showed a picture of a crowd of Orthodox families outside Rita’s Italian Ice on West County Line Road, bearing the words “perfect bombing time.” A third image showed the minor daughter of a New Jersey sergeant wearing a swastika and a Hitler-esque moustache extending her arm in a Nazi style salute bearing the words “1944: crematorium crew.”
Menendez, however, clearly disagreed with the findings of the local prosecutors.
Asked by Ralph Zucker, a Lakewood businessman, if he would be willing to escalate the matter to federal authorities Menendez replied, “I’d be happy to pursue it.”
“I don’t believe that those are harmless,” said Menendez. “I do believe that when you suggest a threat…I don’t believe that a threat is harmless. This is more than simply bias, this suggests a threat.”