KKK fliers in Mandeville neighborhood under investigation
MANDEVILLE, La. - Sonja Chaves was stunned to spot an offensive flier in her Mandeville driveway Saturday morning.
"It's hurtful. It's scary," she said, "I have a little boy. We have neighbors. They have kids."
Several other residents in the Hidden Pines subdivision also found the plastic bags, with a rock or candy and a flier from, what it claims, is the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
In addition to the racist and anti-gay message, the flier gives a website and a phone number, with an automated message that says, "Save our land, join the klan, white power," that leads back to what appears to be a KKK chapter in North Carolina. The website provides several other fliers for anyone to print and distribute in their communities.
The outrage over the fliers went beyond those who received them locally.
"I mean, I guess it's kind of repulsive, you know," said resident Patrick Sarver, "I mean, I don't discriminate against any group and I don't feel like anyone around here should be discriminated against either."
One woman, who did not want to be identified, said, "I'm extremely hurt by it. As a member of the gay community... I think it shows the ignorance of society still."
The fliers have been popping up in communities across the country all summer. In some reports, the organization behind them claims it's part of a recruiting effort. Locally, town leaders in Pearl River were alerted to a similar flier being found on windshields in June, but no official report was filed.
Monday, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating this weekend's discovery.
"There's no doubt they're trying to deliver a hateful message, and we take it very serious," said Sheriff Jack Strain, "But at this point, we have to talk to our victim. We have to determine a lot of things including how it got there, when it got there, when she discovered it."
People in the Hidden Pines neighborhood have created their own message for whoever left the fliers -- we're not interested.
The local FBI office says it is monitoring the situation for any possible federal violations. Phone and website messages left for the KKK group linked to the fliers were not returned by news time.