Drone-dropped swastika leaflets calling press ‘the enemy’ target Sacramento State, Ariana Grande concert

A swastika is seen on a leaflet dropped Friday during Sacramento State University’s annual “Bites on the Bridge” fundraiser.
A swastika is seen on a leaflet dropped Friday during Sacramento State University’s annual “Bites on the Bridge” fundraiser. The State Hornet (Sacramento State)

People attending an annual event at Sacramento State University celebrating the city’s Farm-to-Fork roots were bombarded with material taking aim at the press. Some had images of a swastika on them.

A drone flew over the sold-out “Bites on the Bridge” event Friday and dropped leaflets which call the press “the enemy” and urged readers to “stop the TV whore takeover!” Some of the leaflets have the name Tracy Mapes in the corner with a copyright symbol and the year 2018 on them. According to previous reporting in The Sacramento Bee, Mapes is a Sacramento resident who has been arrested over dropping leaflets at sporting events.

Sacramento State quickly issued a statement from President Robert S. Nelsen via Facebook.

“Sacramento State condemns in the strongest terms the dissemination of hate speech and propaganda Friday evening at our annual fundraising dinner on the Guy West Bridge,” the statement reads. “The anonymous act of spreading such vile material is offensive and runs counter to the principles of inclusion and diversity practiced at Sac State. It did not stop the event, nor will it slow our march toward greater understanding and commitment to the rights and safety of our campus community.”

Despite the incident, the event continued as planned, according to Brian Blomster, Sacramento State director of news and communications. He added that campus police had been notified and plan to investigate.

The springtime fundraiser, held on the Guy West Bridge near campus, gives attendees a chance to enjoy small plates and desserts. The food is made and served by Sacramento State students.

According to tweets, the leaflets were also dropped Friday evening at Golden 1 Center, which is where an Ariana Grande concert is taking place, and were seen near the state Capitol.

The Bee reported in 2017 that Mapes was arrested after flying a drone over a San Francisco 49ers game in Santa Clara. Police said Mapes dropped leaflets that addressed free speech and railed against television news stations. According to the 2017 report, Mapes also planned to drop the leaflets at an Oakland Raiders game.

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