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Juvenile identified as person of interest in electronic distribution of anti-Semitic image

Update: Charges filed

Nov. 12, 2018 - A student at Oak Park and River Forest High School has been charged in connection with the electronic distribution of an anti-Semitic image during an assembly last week at the school. The 14-year-old was charged with dissemination of an obscene message and is scheduled to appear Wed., Nov. 14 in Cook County Juvenile Court.

Related story: Oak Park, River Forest officials issue joint statement on racist, anti-Semitic incidents


Nov. 9, 2018 – Oak Park Police have identified a juvenile as a person of interest in connection with the electronic distribution of an anti-Semitic image to some Oak Park and River Forest High School students.

Working in collaboration with high school administrative and security staff, investigators were able to identify a juvenile who may be responsible for using the Apple AirDrop feature to distribute the image of a swastika to the cellphones of several other students during a morning assembly.

Police expect to interview the juvenile today and work with the Cook County State’s Attorney to determine if charges are warranted.

The image apparently created a second incident, Police said, when a student reportedly told a parent two students were talking about shooting up the school, prompting the parent to contact police. The report turned out to be a misunderstanding.

The incidents come in the wake of discoveries of racist and anti-Semitic graffiti found on Nov. 2 and 7 at the school. Police presence in an around the high school has been increased significantly since the first incident occurred.

Police say they also are relying on long-established relationships with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, who are assisting in the investigation.

“Students, parents and high school staff are understandably on edge given these incidents,” said Interim Police Chief LaDon Reynolds. “I want to assure them and the entire community that the Oak Park Police and our network of law enforcement agencies across the region are focused on bringing such troubling incidents to an end.”

Reynolds said his department’s long-standing, cooperative relationship with the high school has proven crucial in the investigation of not only today’s incident, but the previous two incidents of graffiti.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Oak Park Police Department at 708.386.3800. Information may be provided anonymously by calling 708.434.1636 or online at