Dear Kensington Residents and Business Community:
Yesterday some of our neighbors in nearby Kensington Estates found antisemitic fliers in front of their homes. The Town of Kensington strongly condemns antisemitic attacks and any other acts of hate and racism targeting members of our community. We will not tolerate hate in our community and we are committed to working with County officials, law enforcement and community partners to create a safe and welcoming community for all people.
We are writing today to ask that all residents, neighbors, and businesses remain vigilant and work together to deter such attacks. On January 18th we hosted a community training event at the Kensington Town Hall with the Anti-Defamation League and the Montgomery County Police Department. At this event, participants learned that when such incidents occur, it is very important to immediately report them to the police so that they can collect evidence and begin investigations. Specifically, we were advised:
- If you see something, say something. Always call 911 if you witness a bias or hate incident. Even if you are not sure if an incident or something you see merits reporting (graffiti for example), it is best to contact the police so that they can make a determination how to proceed. You never know when a small piece of information could prove valuable to an investigation. You should also report bias and hate incidents to the ADL using their online reporting tool.
- Be a good witness. If you do witness a potential bias incident or hate crime occurring, in addition to calling 911 do what you can to capture details that will be helpful to law enforcement (e.g., time of day, location, make and model of car and license plate numbers, etc.). If you have a home or business security camera that could have captured relevant video footage, contact the police.
- If you have any information regarding these latest incidents in Kensington Estates/Kensington Parkwood area, please contact the Montgomery County Police District 2 investigative unit at 240-773-6700.
At the January 18th event we also discussed how we can work together to deter such hateful acts. Here are some of the ideas and resources that were shared by participants.
- Talk with your kids, family members, and others about bias and hate and how it hurts all of us. We need to confront bias in early stages so it doesn’t escalate into more harmful activity. And, as much as possible, have these conversations in real life, not back and forth online. You can find resources online at ADL.org, Not in Our Town.org. Specifically, you might find the following guides helpful:
- Build relationships and show up for community events. We are fortunate to live in a diverse community. Take advantage of the opportunities we have to build relationships and understanding with people from different backgrounds. Our visible strength and connections can help to deter those who seek to divide us.
Mayor Tracey Furman
Council Member Ann Lichter
Council Member Conor Crimmins
Council Member Darin Bartram
Council Member Nate Engle