Klan recruiting in South Lake Charles? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Klan recruiting in South Lake Charles?

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Is South Lake Charles being targeted by the Ku Klux Klan? KPLC has received several reports from residents in different neighborhoods who say they’ve received recruitment flyers in Ziploc bags on their lawns.

Flyers say ‘Save our Land, Join our Klan’ and ‘Our Race is Our Nation’. Most residents who have received them say they’re shocked that a group like this, that’s been known for violence against minorities, still exists and could even be here in Lake Charles.

Saturday, Joe and Beth Bowers took their dog Buddy for a walk through their University Place neighborhood. It was like any other evening until Joe says, “We started noticing Ziploc bags at every driveway.”

So, they stopped and picked one up. Inside was a rock and flyers.

“The Ku Klux Klan was trying to recruit people. We were shocked,” said Joe.

The Bowers say they've been in this area for 25 years and have never seen any type of Klan recruiting like this. But after talking to neighbors, Beth says it appears it wasn't the first time.

“They said there was one apparently in every driveway a couple weeks ago, so this has happened more than once,” explained Beth.

In fact, there have been several reports of the same flyers found on residential lawns from Oaks of Heyd Park to the Sale Road Canal Street area, and now University Place.

After the last incident, Lake Charles Police say they've been on the lookout for subjects leaving these flyers on people’s lawns. But because the Klan, like any other organization, is entitled to freedom of speech, there's not much they can do except cite them for littering.

That is, unless threats, personal solicitation, or labeling of propaganda issues happens. Even still, it's not comforting for the Bowers. Joe says they’re concerned, “That they would take it beyond flyers and go back to some of their old ways.”

While they didn't contact authorities, they did let friends know and hope their speaking out will help other residents be aware of the situation.

“I think we'll be watchful. We keep security cameras going around our house so we'll certainly keep an eye for any other activity,” said Joe.

In the meantime, police encourage anyone that sees people passing out these flyers to give them a call.

KPLC called the Klan hotline number on the flyer which is a North Carolina area code, but it led to about a 45-second voice recording that starts with ‘Be a Man, Join the Klan’ and discusses immigration concerns among other things.

A local Klan member called KPLC Wednesday evening and wanted to let us know their group simply wants to bring awareness to the area and that they're law-abiding and not violent. He did not give his name or any other information when asked.

While it appears to be harmless recruiting for now, Lake Charles Police are patrolling neighborhoods and continue to investigate. 

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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