[See update below]
By JOHN T. WARD
The fliers, enclosed in ziploc bags and weighted with small stones, disparage King as a “communist pervert.”
One of the two fliers purports to recount a litany of sexual transgressions by King. The other shows a map of the United States with the U.S. flag inverted and below the Mexican flag on a pole, with the text: “Hey Gringo! What will you do when this happens to you?”
Both purport to come from or endorse the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Pelham, North Carolina, whose website carries similar rhetoric.
A call to the number on the flier was answered with a lengthy prerecorded message saying that King was a “perverted Communist nigger” who participated in orgies with prostitutes and conspired to incite riots. A request for comment was not immediately responded to.
[Update: Rufus Johnson, who identified himself as a media spokesman for the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, confirmed Monday afternoon that the fliers were part of a nationwide campaign by the organization to call attention to what it believes is King’s unworthiness of honor. He said local distributors frequently use plastic bags weighted with stones or rice to keep them from blowing away. He declined to identify local representatives, but said the group has a chapter in New Jersey.]
Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen that his department and police in Fair Haven had received several reports of the fliers.
“As horrible as it is on its face,” the distribution of the fliers is not itself a crime, though ordinances may have been violated if the material was thrown from a moving vehicle, McConnell said. He said his department and Fair Haven’s were investigating, and that the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office had been notified.
David Cassidy, a volunteer firefighter who lives on McLaren Street, said he had “a rotten, rude awakening” when he found the fliers in a plastic bag on his lawn.
“In all my eight years living here, I’ve never heard of anything like this,” said Cassidy, who termed the rhethoric “absurd.”
A woman who lives on John Street and asked not to be identified told redbankgreen she was “freaked out” to see the literature on her lawn. “It’s shocking that this still exists in this area,” she said. “It scares the hell out of me.”
According to a report last July 1 by NJTV, similar fliers were found on Washington Street in Red Bank, in plastic bags weighted down with candy, and about 100 were found in December, 2014 in Rutherford.