Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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‘Butcher Zionist Pigs’ Sign Found in California Hospital

The Arcata Police Department has initiated a hate crime investigation over an antisemitic sign placed above a restroom doorway at Mad River Community Hospital (MRCH) . The restroom is inside the Emergency Room and only accessible to patients and staff.

A witness noticed the sign last Monday, Jan. 29 inside the restroom, and photographed it. The sign bears elaborate Olde English lettering associated with Nazi/Third Reich signage, of the type popular among white supremacists.

It reads, “Butcher Zionist Pigs.” Embedded among the words are two images: one of an apparent executioner wielding an axe, and a pig in retro financier garb – a longstanding antisemitic visual cliché.

When the photo surfaced online Friday, attempts to contact MRCH administrators proved fruitless, with emails and voicemails unanswered. Eventually, a switchboard operator directed a call to a nursing supervisor, who said he knew the sign’s described location, and that he would go address the matter.

Friday night, MRCH CEO Doug Shaw returned a call, pledging that “It’s coming down tonight.”

According to a statement from APD Sgt. Chris Ortega, an APD officer took custody of the sign Friday night, Ortega said the sign had been removed from the doorway, and was turned over to the officer by a staff member.

APD’s statement

On Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, the Arcata Police Department responded to Mad River Community Hospital for a report of an anti-semitic flyer that was posted in the bathroom. The message on the flyer was “Butcher Zionist Pigs,” and depicted caricatures of a hooded executioner holding an axe next to a pig wearing a tuxedo.

APD is investigating this incident as a hate crime, as the messaging calls for violence against national origin, which is a protected status. It placed persons in our Jewish community in fear and was seemingly intended to be threatening in nature.

We’re currently looking into the potential for surveillance footage from within the hospital and we will process the flyer for trace evidence in an effort to identify and hold the perpetrator or perpetrators responsible or accountable.