LAKE VIEW, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: KKK Flyers in plastic bags with candy were put out in yards and driveways Lake View, Bessemer and possibly other areas overnight Saturday or early Sunday morning.
Police in Lake View documented the flyers, filed a report and forwarded some of the plastic bags to the FBI according to Police Chief Eddie Frederick.
The chief tells WIAT 42 News that the flyers were distributed in the Million Dollar Lake subdivision in Lake View.
They were also found in the Jonesboro Heights community in Bessemer, according to Deputy Chief Mike Roper of the Bessemer Police Department.
Some contained tootsie rolls and others peppermints, but all were filled with racially charged language.
Police confirm that in both municipalities the fliers referenced the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. There are phone numbers and a website which lists the group as being based in North Carolina.
Shannon and Mark Phillips can’t believe that KKK flyers landed on their street in the Million Dollar Lake subdivision.
Shannon says she and other neighbors picked up as many of the plastic bags as they could before children could find them.
She is a member of the Lake View Town Council and told WIAT 42 News that she intended to bring up the incident at the next council meeting.
“I didn’t even know that the KKK was alive and well. I certainly didn’t know it was in our area. It disturbed me that they put tootsie rolls in here trying to appeal to children. I mean that’s just pathetic, sick, disgusting,” said Shannon Phillips.
One of the other neighbors, a marathoner, picked up around 200 of the flyers according to Shannon.
Mark Phillips is a military veteran who says he fought to protect the freedom of speech, but not this.
“It’s hate speech that I don’t support and I don’t think anybody in the military that I’m in would ever support that as well. So it’s very disgusting and disturbing to see that in my community because I don’t like it and I don’t want it here,” said Mark Phillips.
He says the neighborhood is very diverse and people get along well.
“It’s frustrating to know that we’ve come this far in trying to build relationships with people and community and develop an area for people to have a great place to live and to have this trash [sic thrown] out in our street is very disturbing,” said Mark Phillips.
Lake View Mayor Bruce Wade told WIAT that the flyers do not reflect the views of the community.
“You know everybody has their first amendment right, but there’s also a whole lot of responsibility in that first amendment right. It’s just a shame that something like this has had to happen,” said Wade.
“I know our police department’s working on it. They’re working in conjunction with the FBI,” said Wade. “They’re identified as a watch group with the FBI so this has been shared with them. And I’m sure, hopefully, they’ll be able to find who did this and hopefully something be done about it,” he continued.
Police Chief Eddie Frederick tells WIAT 42 News that if he sees anyone throwing out KKK literature in Lake View he will charge them with littering if nothing else.
ORIGINAL: The Lake View Police Department is investigating questionable flyers circulating through the area.
Sunday morning residents awoke to find flyers advertising KKK motives in their yards, driveways and near mailboxes. Flyers were inside plastic bags with a piece of candy such as peppermints.
After receiving calls about the flyers, the Lakeview Police Department has responded by saying this is behavior the community will not tolerate. So far, Lakeview PD has no leads on where the flyers came from or who they may be connected to.
The department has reached out to the FBI for assistance.
Mike McClanahan is currently investigating this story, and will have more in tonight’s newscasts at 5 and 6 p.m.