/ Modified jan 17, 2024 1:46 p.m.

Douglas City Council meeting interrupted by 'Zoombombing' individuals who made antisemitic remarks

The city has added new protocols to prevent the incident from happening again

Douglas City Hall Douglas City Hall. January 10, 2023.
Summer Hom, AZPM News

This article was updated at 1:45 p.m. to include a statement from the Douglas Police Chief.

A Douglas City Council meeting this month was interrupted by Zoombombing of two individuals who made antisemitic comments.

Douglas Mayor Donald Huish said the council was discussing funding for a Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Pension policy when a man and a woman intruded the Zoom conference the city uses to livestream its meetings.

“They initially popped in, acting like they wanted to comment on the issue being discussed," Huish said. "And then it quickly went downhill to inappropriate language and antisemitic language. And then, an antisemitic image popped up.”

Huish said he was "shocked."

"Not being a technology giant at all, I was like ‘what on Earth happened?’" Huish said.

He added that the pair of Zoombombers did not fill out a speaker request form.

The Zoombombers failed to yield and caused the city to terminate the livestream on the January 10 meeting.

The mayor said the meeting resumed after a recess and the rest was recorded offline and added to the original recording of the meeting. He said the interruption was cut-out.

The City’s IT manager Joel Camacho said nothing was hacked. He said whoever set up the meeting did not enable the waiting room option — which allows the host to either admit or deny participants asking to join.

Camacho said the IT department now recommends employees make their Zoom meeting IDs different for every meeting, add passwords and enable the waiting room feature, to prevent Zoombombings in the future. At this point, he said the reason why the Zoombombers chose to interrupt the Douglas City Council meeting is unknown.

Other cities in the county said they have not had any issues with Zoombombing. The mayor said the city is in the process of working with Zoom to report the incident and the Douglas Police Department to determine if any charges will be filed.

Douglas Police Chief Kraig Fullen wrote to AZPM Wednesday morning that the department has initiated an investigation, but no charges have been filed yet.

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