Arnold GodoyNov 14, 2017, 1:07 pm

Police release surveillance images in probe of Hoboken hate fliers targeting mayor-elect

Pamphlets contained the word ‘terrorism’ over image of Ravi Bhalla


HOBOKEN — Police have released images of several people believed to be responsible for the racist ads against Mayor-Elect Ravi Bhalla.

While the investigation continues, there was a tense exchange between the mayor-elect and a Councilman Mike DeFusco during Monday night’s city council meeting.

Defusco's name was printed on the racist ad with the word "terrorism” across the top and a picture of his opponent Bhalla.

The pamphlets resembled fliers that DeFusco's campaign had distributed, but the councilman has denounced them and denied having anything to do with the racist ads.

During the city council meeting, DeFusco confronted Bhalla and asked for the mayor-elect’s support and help to find the criminals together. DeFusco says that since the ads came out, he and his family have received hateful messages and have been targeted as racists. He asked Bhalla to acknowledge that it couldn't have been him behind those ads.

"So, I ask you again, please stand with me, help me raise money for the fund offering a reward to find who is responsible for this,” DeFusco said.

The mayor-elects response, though, was to say that only an investigation would be able to determine who was responsible.

"If there comes a time in which whoever did this is apprehended and you are absolved as a campaign and your people next to you, I'd be happy to go ahead and express my remorse," Bhalla said.

As the investigation continues, police are now looking for five suspects.

Councilman DeFusco is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading up to an arrest.

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