A note was left on the front of the Giftbar boutique in Montclair on June 19 that said, “This is what Nazi Germany looks like in 2020 Amerika. Are you proud?”
The incident is being treated as a bias crime by the Montclair Police Department.
The incident falls into the categories of both bias and anti-government/anti-police activities. Both types have been rising in Montclair in recent weeks, along with vandalism, according to Captain Scott Buehler of the Montclair Police Department.
The note was reported to have been posted late morning or early afternoon on a day when the store was open for business. Buehler said there were no reports of other notes posted on Montclair businesses, nor did he know if Giftbar owners were targeted. He declined to comment on suspects or leads, saying only that it is an active investigation.
Early indications suggest that this particular note is more aligned with the anti-government camp than neo-Nazis. “Amerika with a ‘k’ is usually anti-government,” Buehler said. It’s a statement reflecting perception of government rather than propaganda that usually characterizes neo-Nazi pamphlets, he pointed out, adding, “it’s too early to say.”
Alex Rosemberg, deputy director of the New York/New Jersey region of the Anti-Defamation League, said, “I have more questions than answers right now,” and declined to comment further.
The store’s owners declined to comment.