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KKK group targets Waynesboro, Staunton

8 April 2014 General No Comment Email This Post Email This Post

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Brian Carlton and Roger Gonzalez news@newsvirginian.com

A North Carolina branch of the KKK came to the Valley on Sunday night, recruiting new members. Valley residents woke up Monday morning to see pamphlets covering their vehicles and lining their driveways, calling for people to “Save Our Land [and] Join The Klan.” Wrapped in Food Lion deli bags, with marbles inside to prevent them blowing away, the material gave a North Carolina phone number and an address in Pelham, North Carolina, which is located just outside of Rockingham County.

“It was around 12:40 a.m. [when I heard them],” said Waynesboro resident David Foster. “I was up getting some milk. I saw these lighting flashing [outside]. It was like two flashlights or more. It was all over the place. I went and got my flashlight [but] by the time I got back, they were gone.”

Foster said he couldn’t see people, but heard what he thought was a moped. Foster called a neighbor two blocks down, who said he saw nothing.

Waynesboro police said the flyers were limited to just two blocks on Mt. Vernon Street. Over the course of the day, despite the large amount of flyers, the department just had one phone call from a resident about the incident.

In Staunton, officials from the police department said that pamphlets were dropped also in just one neighborhood, located in the western part of the city. According to Staunton Police spokeswoman Jennifer Stevens, the items were placed on vehicles in the neighborhood, much like a fundraiser invitation.

Group has history of causing issues

This same group, based out of Pelham, has a history of stirring up issues around Rockingham County, North Carolina. During the 2012 primary in Eden, North Carolina, the group gathered at the old Sonic Drive-In location handing out flyers. At the time, police contacted the owner of the property, who said the group had not been invited to be there. After being told they could be charged with trespassing, the KKK members left voluntarily.

Later in that same year, a Confederate monument in Reidsville, North Carolina was destroyed after a driver fell asleep at the wheel and plowed into it. The city council debated and eventually decided to move the replacement from downtown to a Confederate cemetery nearby. After that, schools in the area started being tagged with graffiti. The Rockingham County School District’s Central Administration Office had a banner placed on it one night in July 2012, stating that “we will get our monument back and no (censored) loving City Council will stop us. The Real KKK does not play.” Two more buildings were tagged with KKK graffiti over the next year in the Rockingham County area.

Police ask residents to report situation

When an incident like this happens, residents often feel there’s nothing they can do, Waynesboro Police Sgt. Brian Edwards said. But, he added, that’s not true. In a case like this, police can charge members of the group with littering. He encouraged people to call in. After Sunday night’s distribution, Edwards said he received one call from locals.

“The police department does like to stay informed about hate groups in the city,” Edwards said. “It’s important that residents do let us know when something like this happens.”

Original post: KKK group targets Waynesboro, Staunton





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