Signs Placed on New York Cars in Florida Telling 'Woke' People to Leave: Police

Flyers appeared on some New York-licensed cars in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend instructing any "woke" people to leave the state, according to police. The flyers concerned some Palm Beach residents who worried the message could be a threat, or at least a lack of respect for people with differing opinions, the Palm Beach Post reported.

A photo of one of the flyers on the Post's Twitter page shows a piece of white paper on a car window. It was blank apart from the centered inscription: "If you are one of those 'woke' people --- leave Florida. You will be happier elsewhere, as will we."

Many tourists typically travel to the wealthy island and new hometown of former President Donald Trump around this time of year to visit its resorts, restaurants and beaches. Police Captain Will Rothrock told the Post that authorities were looking into the issue and working to determine whether any laws were broken.

"We understand that the lack of civility and respect for personal property displayed by this is concerning," he said.

But Fox News later reported that the captain said the department had come to the conclusion that laws had not been breached when the flyers were placed on the New Yorkers' cars.

"The Department was notified on Sunday by concerned community members," Rothrock told Fox News. "We looked into this issue and ultimately determined it was a non-criminal matter. We have no further comment or expected updates on it at this time."

Rothrock said that authorities do not know how many cars were found with the flyers because not all of them were reported to law enforcement.

Palm Beach Car Fliers
Flyers appeared on some New York-licensed cars in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend instructing any "woke" people to leave the state, police said. Above, a general view of Worth Avenue is seen in Palm Beach, Florida. Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "woke" in the political context as meaning "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)." It was first used by Black Americans in the 1930s but became popularized by the Black Lives Matters movement after a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer fatally shot Michael Brown in 2014.

Some conservatives, however, use the word as an insult against liberals, saying it means the person is overly sensitive and moralizing and sees racism where it does not exist.

Trump became one of Palm Beach's 8,800 residents in 2019, relocating from his native New York City. He said in a Fox News interview last year "that being woke means you are a loser."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mar-a-Lago Estate
Many tourists typically travel to Palm Beach, Florida, the wealthy island and new hometown of former President Donald Trump, around this time of year to visit its resorts, restaurants and beaches, but signs recently placed on New York cars tell "woke" people to leave. Above, Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is shown in a Wednesday, July 10, 2019, file photo. Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo