On Friday, a drone released flyers adorned with swastikas and anti-media rhetoric outside of an Ariana Grande concert as well as an event at Sacramento State University, according to BuzzFeed News. The State Hornet was first to report on the incident.
The literature read “the press is the enemy,” and alleged that “prostitutes and felons” have “infiltrated” the media and government.
The State Hornet reports that the flyers were released over an annual university dinner held on a bridge near the campus. According to a student reporter who went to the concert, literature was also discovered outside of the Golden 1 Center arena, where Ariana Grande was set to perform.
A spokesperson for Grande has not yet responded to Buzzfeed‘s request for comment.
University president Robert S. Nelsen released a statement soon after the incident, condemning the spread of “hate speech and propaganda” in his remarks.
“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.”
University spokesperson Brian Blomster told the media outlet that the Sacramento State Police Department is currently investigating the incident.
Federal Aviation Administration guidelines state that it is illegal to fly drones over a stadium during a game.
An FAA spokesperson also informed BuzzFeed News that it is against the law to fly a drone above people without possessing a waiver. The agency is currently cooperating with local law enforcement in investigation of the case.
A drone dropped flyers that said "the press is the enemy" and had swastikas on them near an Ariana Grande concert and over a Sacramento State University eventhttps://t.co/jk44mxMEET
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) May 6, 2019
A portion of the flyers read “Tracy Mapes [copyright symbol] 2018” and boasted social media promotion for “The Red X Society.” BuzzFeed News reported that the Red X Society is a group that indicates its “Only Membership Requirement is in the Participation or Direct Action in Exposing US Corruption.” It has less that 100 followers on Facebook — and three on Twitter — and was created in 2014 by an individual named Mapes.
Mapes is a 57-year-old from Sacramento, California, who had been arrested for a comparable act. Mapes was connected to a previous incident in which anti-media literature was dropped above NFL games in Oakland and in Santa Clara, California. He was reportedly charged with a misdemeanor, and was then released.
On Thursday and Friday, Mapes posted several drone images to Facebook, and pictures of the flyers released on Friday were featured on his Facebook page in April. That same month, he shared a video showing a drone as it dropped flyers over the California State Capitol building, the footage set to Five for Fighting’s “Superman.”