Police determine suspect in anti-Muslim cartoons

Police say they've determined who is responsible for putting up anti-Islamic posters in the St. Cloud area.

The St. Cloud Police Department has been investigating several cartoons posted on a couple of utility poles around the city earlier this week Tuesday. Spokesman Sgt. Martin Sayre said community members have provided tips to help the investigation.

"We have identified the individual responsible for the distribution of the materials," Sayre said. "So the St. Cloud Police Department is completing follow-up investigation over the weekend on this case and we are forwarding the reports to the area prosecutors for review of charging."

Sayre said the department is not releasing any information about the suspect because there has been no arrest or criminal charge. He said area prosecutors will assess whether the posters are protected under free speech rights or if the individual crossed a legal line.

Mohamoud Mohamed, with the St. Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organization, said the cartoons have disturbed many residents, who consider this a hate crime.

"The person pre-meditated to commit this crime against the faith people, not only Muslim people, but it is insulting all the faith people in this holiday season that most of the faiths are sharing," Mohamed said.

Mohamed said the suspect posted some of the images in front of a local Somali shop owned by a woman. Police say area prosecutors will review the case before determining any criminal charges.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.