Asheville, N.C.

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Police investigating after reports of KKK flyers found Asheville, NC

January 22, 2019 - 11:13 am
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By Kristy Kepley-Steward

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS ) -- An Asheville man spoke with News 13 after finding a KKK recruitment flyer on his lawn in the Montford neighborhood on Tuesday—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

He reported that to Asheville Police Department, and investigators said the same flyer was found in West Asheville.

"I got home at right around noon and saw a Ziploc bag in my yard,” Jarret Porter, who found the flyer on his Montford lawn, said.

According to Porter, he found the flyer in the bag.

"The bag was weighed down with rocks, so I knew someone threw it and didn't want it blown away," Porter said.

The flyer assured readers the KKK was active, asking them to join the notorious hate group, and had phone numbers and a web address for more information.

"It's unreal,” Porter said.

Porter told News 13 that an African-American family lived across the street from him.

"I couldn't imagine if I was a person of color, like I couldn't imagine like how that would feel; like I would be terrified," Porter said.

According to Lt. Sean Aardema, with Asheville Police Department, investigators believed more residents may have received flyers.

"There likely were quite a few more flyers that just weren't reported to us," Lt. Aardema said.

Aardema said the next step could be reaching out to other law enforcement agencies.

"To see if they've experienced the same type of thing, see if we can determine the origin of it, if it was someone who just came in our community last night to spread these or if it's someone that's here and continuing to spread them," Aardema said.

According to Aardema, those type of flyers have been spread before in Asheville—like in 2016.

"Unfortunately, I believe, in that case, it came on the eve of the date that we celebrate Dr. King and his legacy and the work that he did," Aardema said.

Nearly three years later, at a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration—on MLK Day—Asheville councilwoman Sheneika Smith said the incident proved there was still more work that had to be done to fulfill Dr. King's vision for acceptance and equality.

"I would hope that Asheville as a community would stand against this nonsense and put strong messages out and throughout North Carolina, and wherever that flyer came from, we will definitely resist that type of ignorance," Smith said.

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