SARATOGA SPRINGS — City police are investigating flyers promoting membership in a white supremacist group that were placed on cars Tuesday.
The flyers, a copy of which police provided to media, includes the logo of the Loyal White Knights, a still-active faction of the Ku Klux Klan, and encourages readers to visit the hate group’s website.
Another logo features a sketch of man in a white hood with the text, “The Kool Kids Klub wants you!”
The flyers were placed on a number of vehicles in the area of Bensonhurst Avenue and Church Street overnight Tuesday and appear to be propaganda, police said.
“The handbills refer to several national movements and events,” said police department officials in a prepared statment. “It seems that the content was put together in an amateur manner that looks as if the images and wording were copied from different sources and spliced together onto one flyer.
“There are no direct threats or references to the local community contained in the text. The placing of unauthorized handbills on the windshield of vehicles is a violation of the vehicle and traffic law. It does not appear that any particular person or group was targeted for the dissemination of these handbills. The police have no reports of handbills being distributed in other areas of the city.”
The department also said in its statement that it “does not believe we should dignify or in any way benefit the authors of these handbills by publicizing the content for them,” but an image of the flyer was attached to the news release shared with media.
The flyer claims that the “”(((Left)))” has been organizing a communist revolution in the United States, and that revolution has been “elevated to the street level,” with Black Lives Matter protests and women’s marches.
“It’s time for white American patriots to get off our knees and stand up for our country, our values and our way of life,” the flyer further states.
Police said that, while only a violation appears to have been committed, the flyers are concerning.
“We have had no reports of threats, nor do we have any indication that this type of movement is prominent in our area,” the statement reads. “Yet we should remain vigilant and prepared to counter the messages of hate in our community with our own messages of peace and respect for all human beings.”
The flyer isn’t the first example of hate speech to circulate in the Spa City this year.
In January, the police department investigated an Instagram account promoting white supremacy and anti-Semitic rhetoric that, under the name SHS4R, lured students at Saratoga Springs High School into following it. The handle apparently stood for Saratoga High School 4th Reich.
In March, Mayor Joanne Yepsen announced the formation of a Human Rights Task Force, pointing to graffiti in the form of swastikas found in the city in November as an example of how Saratoga isn’t immune to hate crimes and speech.
Anyone with information about the person or persons responsible for distributing the flyers is encouraged to call Saratoga Springs police at 584-1800, or visit www.saratogapolice.org. Anonymous reports can be made by calling 584-TIPS.