Ku Klux Klan propaganda fliers were once again found in the driveways of Loudoun County residents on Jan. 16 at the start of the weekend celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
The distribution of the fliers comes a week after supporters of President Donald Trump, including white supremacists, stormed the U.S. Capitol. The KKK fliers also appeared only a few days after Virginia state Del. Dave LaRock (R-33rd) referred to African American residents of Loudoun County as “colored.”
On Jan. 16, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office received reports of KKK propaganda fliers found in the driveways of several homes along Hampshire Station Drive in Sterling. Similar fliers were located by the Leesburg Police Department Saturday within the town limits.
All of the fliers were in plastic bags and weighed down with birdseed and were similar to fliers distributed in the region in previous years, the LCSO said.
“There is no indication any of the households that received the fliers were targeted,” the sheriff’s office said.
In its own statement, the Leesburg Police Department said it is investigating several incidents involving propaganda fliers being distributed by people claiming to be KKK members.
On the morning of Jan. 16, the department began receiving reports of suspicious fliers found outside of residences on the east side of town.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that the fliers appear to contain propaganda material and were most likely distributed due to the close proximity of the day the nation honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and also the close proximity of the Presidential Inauguration,” the Leesburg police said.
“While all of these incidents are taken very seriously, at this time, the material appears to have been distributed randomly and was not specifically targeting any particular individual(s),” the department added. “As with previous incidents involving similar fliers, Leesburg Detectives will work with local, state, and federal partners to identify any potential threats to the community.”
On Jan. 12, LaRock, who represents a large part of western Loudoun County, said in a statement that Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall (D-At-Large) and NAACP Loudoun President Michelle Thomas, both of whom had called for his removal from office, should instead focus on “the needs of the colored community.”
The delegate told the Times-Mirror on Jan. 13 that he did not realize that using “colored people” was racist until after he issued the statement.
Police departments across the Washington, D.C., area are on high alert in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, fearing that right-wing extremists will launch another attack on Washington. Officials in local jurisdictions, including Loudoun County, are urging residents in their communities not to travel to D.C. on Wednesday for the inauguration.
This is the fourth year in a row that residents of Loudoun County have found Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers in their driveways in the days leading up to the holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. A year ago, residents of Lovettsville, Luckets and Hillsboro found similar KKK fliers in plastic bags containing birdseed. Over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend in January 2019, KKK recruitment fliers were distributed around North King Street in Leesburg. That same year, similar fliers were found at homes along Route 9 from Paeonian Springs to the West Virginia state line.
In January 2018, residents in the Leesburg, Purcellville and Round Hill areas of Loudoun found KKK recruitment fliers with small bags of candy instead of birdseed. In Leesburg, residents should report any information about the fliers to the police department’s non-emergency dispatch line at 703-771-4500. Residents wishing to remain anonymous can call the Leesburg Crime Line at 703-443-TIPS (8477).
A year ago, residents of Lovettsville, Luckets and Hillsboro found similar KKK fliers in plastic bags containing birdseed.
The LCSO is asking that anyone with information about the fliers or with possible surveillance video to call LCSO Detective Pickrell at 703-777-1021. Residents may also submit a tip through the LCSO’s app. The Loudoun Sheriff app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.