Klan flyer concerns in Calhoun County

CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – Captain L.G. Owens of the Oxford Police Department says there are two different versions of the flyers that went out.  One example references a neighborhood watch and the United Klans of America. Writing on the back of the flyer denounces hate.

The Director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Heidi Beirich, shared her take on the literature drop.

“Anytime the Klan is distributing literature especially if it’s in multi-racial neighborhoods. It’s an attempt to intimidate,” said Heidi Beirich, SPLC.

We spoke to two people who reportedly got the flyers. Both of them declined to comment on camera out of concern for the possible repercussions. We also spoke to several people in the neighborhoods where the flyers were put out who did not see them. Saks resident Jasmine Fortson says it’s surprising and upsetting.

“Yeah because it’s like going back and it’s racist,” said Fortson.

Calhoun County NAACP President David Baker tells us there have been other incidents in recent months that have heightened racial tensions.

Baker says someone set fire to the freedom riders monument in Coldwater several months ago and then there was a more recent incident at the same location.

“It was a cross put down and it was taken down in the last couple of days,” said David Baker, President Calhoun County Chapter of the NAACP.

Baker says his phone rang off the hook on Sunday. He believes the literature has people on edge to say the least.

“They have now opened up a can of worms that should not have been opened up and I’m trying to you know keep tensions down and people are you know sitting at their doors with shotguns now. So that, that’s back in the 60’s. We shouldn’t be doing that now,” said Baker.

Captain Owens says that whoever put the flyers out could potentially be charged with littering if an impacted resident sees it happen and reports their vehicle’s tag number to police.  We called the number listed on the flyer, but at press time we had not been able to reach anyone for comment.

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