“It's Not OK”: Whittier Residents Want KKK Fliers Investigated as Hate Crime

Community leaders and concerned neighbors gathered at Whittier City Hall on Monday to call on police to investigate the distribution of KKK fliers over the weekend as a hate crime.

"It's not OK that these guys come in to our community, it's not OK that you spread your flier with candy in them for children to pick up," said Karen McHale of the Whittier Voters Coalition.

Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper said the investigation was ongoing, but the incident did not qualify as a hate crime because the fliers did not target a particular person or group. However, he added that the fliers were "disgusting" and unwelcomed.

"These fliers are not inconsequential, as some people say," said Matt Berkelhammer of the Whittier Area Peace and Justice Coalition. "They are not a minor matter, they are not a prank, they are not comical and they are not free speech. They are a serious criminal matter, which should be treated as the hate crimes as they are."

Each of the fliers, found inside a plastic bag with a piece of candy and a rock to anchor it, were found in front yards. They contain racist propaganda, comments on President Barack Obama and messages urging people to join the KKK.

The city of Whittier is about two-thirds Hispanic with the affected neighborhood being multiracial.

The incident comes a week after about a hundred bags containing KKK leaflets, rocks and Tootsie Pops were found scattered in two Fullerton neighborhoods.

Within the last year, KKK fliers have also been found in Santa Ana and Orange.

The Whittier city councilmembers asked anyone with information regarding the fliers found in Whittier to contact Police Capt. Aviv Bar at 562-567-9200.

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