The first report came in shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, when flyers were found outside of a house on the 700 block of Aurora Court NE in Leesburg. Leesburg police said those flyers contained “propaganda material.”
As of Saturday morning, police had received four reports about the flyers, and Leesburg police spokesman Sam Shenouda told WTOP that more were expected.
In Round Hill, a resident reported seeing flyers, which were being held down by hard candy on a running trail, around 12 p.m. Saturday near Smith Creek Circle and Scotland Heights Road. Another resident saw a KKK flyer around 4 p.m. near her mailbox, in the 35000 block of Round Knoll Court, also in Round Hill, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Leesburg police declined to release images of the flyers due to the ongoing investigation, however, WTOP obtained some of the language used on the flyers.
One of the flyers reads: “On Martin Luther King Day….. You Are Honoring a Communist Alcoholic Pervert.” Leesburg police confirmed that the flyers were distributed due to the approach of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“The timing of it we think was pre-emptively planned by this individual or individuals that are doing this, specifically to target this weekend because it’s an upcoming holiday and specifically because it honors the legacy of a great man that once existed,” Shenouda said.
The flyers appear to have been distributed randomly without targeting specific people. The individual or individuals probably distributed the flyers in neighborhoods with low foot traffic and low police presence, Shenouda said.
Investigators with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office are working with the FBI and police departments in Leesburg and Purcellville, where similar incidents have been reported.
This is not the first time the KKK has made an appearance in Leesburg. Last Halloween, Leesburg residents received bags filled with candy and messages warning of “white extinction.”
“We can probably predict that when people start waking up this morning, there’s going to be more coming in just because we went through something like this before in October,” Shenouda said.
If police do catch the person or persons behind the flyers, there may not be much they can do about the hate speech unless someone’s safety is threatened.
“The issue comes in with laws that people are breaking, so if we were to pursue charges, we would be pursuing charges for illegal dumping and/or littering. But, again, we walk that fine line because if we start bringing people to court for that particular charge, then we potentially can be doing that to other individuals who are distributing things that are not concerning to the public, such as restaurant menus, flyers for upcoming events and so on,” Shenouda said.
Anyone with information about the fliers is urged to call police at 703-771-4500. Anonymous tips can be called in at 703-443-8477.
WTOP’s John Domen and Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.
This story was first published Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. It has been updated with the latest information.
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