WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — People around the Shenandoah Valley have woken up or left work to find Ku Klux Klan fliers on their cars in recent days.
Police in Winchester reported getting calls about KKK recruitment fliers back on Halloween.
And as recently as yesterday, local police say the fliers were left on cars in Lumos plaza in Waynesboro and on cars along North Augusta Street in Staunton, along with other locations like parking areas off of West Beverley Street.
Reports on social media came from Mount Crawford and Elkton, as well as other areas.
Waynesboro resident Nikkie McCoy says she was shocked when she walked out of work yesterday at Lumos Plaza in Waynesboro.
"I was surprised, like I was just baffled," McCoy said. "I literally looked around and was like 'Am I being punked, is this funny?'"
The fliers appear to be recruitment tools for the Klan, stating the Black Lives Matter movement is "killing white people" and then asks people to join the Klan.
The text also claims "we are not a hate group or openly show hate," despite every branch of the Ku Klux Klan being listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The flier goes on to claim the Loyal White Knights of the KKK (a branch which came into national conversation after their involvement at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville) are "Christian based and uphold the Bible" and also that they "are the invisible empire," mentioning 150 years of history.
In those 150 years, the Ku Klux Klan has been directly responsible for hundreds of acts of violence against non-white people in the United States, as detailed by the FBI.
"If people are going around putting these things on cars, who's to say they won't jump out at you and try to force you to take something or scream out ugly things at you or even throw things at you?" said McCoy.
Calling the phone number listed on the flier gives you a recorded message that attempts to justify the Holocaust.
People all the way from Waynesboro to Winchester reported to police that they had received these fliers.
John Piper, Chief of Police in Winchester, says while the fliers are offensive, no real crime has been committed.
"Much of the material is protected by the first amendment and there's nothing inherently illegal about recruiting for the KKK even though very much of what they have on there is offensive to many in the community," said Piper.
Local police noted that if the fliers blow off of cars into the streets, they can merit a charge of littering.
The fliers do, however, raise safety concerns for people like McCoy.
"I now feel like, when I walk to my car I'm gonna be more alert, ya know? I'm gonna look around a little more, I'm going to be more cautious of what's going on around me." said McCoy.
There are no current leads on who distributed the fliers, but local police say the will look into the issue and that the safety of their communities is their first priority.
There are surveillance cameras on a number of businesses in the areas where the fliers were reported.
This is not the first time in recent months that white supremacist groups have targeted the Shenandoah Valley for recruitment propaganda. Last month, a group called Identity Evropa, classified as a white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League and designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, placed unapproved promotional stickers on the campuses of both James Madison University and Shenandoah University.