A handful of racist flyers allegedly from the Ku Klux Klan have been showing up in driveways in Madison and surrounding areas, according to Dane County and Madison law enforcement.
Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said seven of the flyers had been found Monday along Fair Oaks Avenue on the city’s East Side. Sheriff Dave Mahoney said three of the flyers — placed into clear plastic bags and weighted down with pebbles — were found at three residences over the last week in the towns of Albion, Pleasant Springs and Blooming Grove. In one case, the flyer appeared at the same time the residence was burglarized, he said.
DeSpain said Madison police sent the flyers to the state Department of Justice’s Statewide Intelligence Center, which determined that they did not pose a direct threat or represent other criminal activity, and that absent specific people being targeted with the flyers based on their race, the flyers are protected free speech.
“Our subject matter experts have told me whoever distributes this type of material is seeking attention and publicity and the best thing to do is not give it to them,” he said.
The flyers from the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are headlined “liberals have no tolerance for the truth” and “shocking crime facts that could save your life,” and then go on to list several alleged statistics on crime and people of color, without providing any supportive documentation.
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A call placed to a North Carolina number listed for the group on the flyer was not immediately returned. A call to a number listed on the flyer for “LWK Radio Mondays” was answered by conferencing call service freeconferencecall.com. Phone attempts to reach the company’s press contact were disconnected. A woman who said she was working in the “Russian office” of the company’s third-party customer service provider said she could not provide contact information for anyone with the company.
The website listed for the group on the flyer was registered in 1998 by a person or group in Florida, according to the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. No contact information for the registrant is provided.
Mahoney said he thinks that ignoring disseminators of racist flyers is counter-productive.
“Who knows what’s in the mind of a person?” he said, referencing the reportedly racially motivated mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3. Those putting out the flyers could be children looking for a reaction, or they could be motivated by hate, he said.
He said county detectives are attempting to determine who distributed the flyers.