TROY — An unknown person or persons recently distributed flyers promoting the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in parts of the city of Troy.
“I believe it was at least two nights,” Troy Police Chief Shawn McKinney said. “It was first brought to our attention on Nov. 7.”
“Initially, we were told that it happened on Mulberry and Clay Streets,” McKinney said, “but since that time I’ve heard reports that it’s happened all over Troy, and in the subdivisions just outside of Troy.”
The flyers were placed on porches in the areas where they were distributed. “I have not seen any reports that they were put into mailboxes,” McKinney said.
The flyers refer to national white supremacy groups, and phone numbers on the flyers are tied to organizations in other states.
“There’s a couple of phone numbers on the flyers,” McKinney said. “It appears to be people from out of state.”
“This has happened in a lot of other cities around the area,” he said. “I’ve seen news reports that it happened in Springfield and Worthington, Ohio in August of this year. It also seems to be some kind of tactic that these groups are using.”
“I don’t really understand what their intention is,” McKinney said, “but if you look on the internet you’ll see that it’s been happening for quite some time all over the United States, where these flyers are distributed in neighborhoods occasionally.”
“It’s the first time it’s happened in Troy, and hopefully it’s the last,” McKinney said. “We’re concerned about these flyers being passed out. We don’t want this activity in town.”
Troy Mayor Robin Oda issued a Facebook posting about the flyers on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
“We have been made aware that fliers promoting the KKK are being distributed in some areas of the city. I would encourage you to trash them and ignore,” Oda said. “These promote a mindset that is not welcome here in our community, and a mindset that will not be tolerated or encouraged in any way, shape or form.”
“While whoever is distributing them has the right to do so under free speech laws provided through the First Amendment, we do not and will not support or condone their message,” Oda said. “As long as the distributor(s) doesn’t break any laws, there is nothing that can be done about their distribution. But let me be clear, this mindset is not welcome in the city of Troy.”