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Iowa authorities consider punishing man for racist fliers October 20, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-black, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, white supremacist.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Police and city officials are considering reprimanding a man who spread racist fliers across downtown Waterloo last weekend.

The man, who police and city officials would not identify, may have violated a local ordinance that prohibits the placing of fliers on public property without a permit, city officials said. Police are also investigating whether distributing the fliers constitutes a hate crime under state and local laws.

“We are exercising our own First Amendment right, and that’s to speak back,” Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley said at a news conference Thursday. “It absolutely does not portray what this community is about.”

The fliers — which were filled with anti-immigration remarks and racist statements targeting blacks — were placed on vehicles in downtown on Sunday. Pictures of guns were also included on the fliers.

Resident Byron Washington said the message brought back memories of 1955 and the race-motivated killing of a black teen in Mississippi. He said he began removing the fliers on Sunday and called police when he was confronted by the man.

“My innocence was destroyed at the age of 5 years old … with the death of Emmett Till,” Washington said. “I’m not going to let that happen to my grandchildren.”

No charges have been filed against the man, though police said they are investigating whether he broke any laws.

“The department takes this very seriously,” said Waterloo Police Chief Tom Jennings.

Jennings said the fliers appear to have been printed from neo-Nazi and white supremacist Web sites.

Several community and government leaders gathered at the news conference to denounce the fliers and those who would spread such messages.

“What this amounts to is terrorism,” Washington said. “It is no different from what al-Qaida does.”

Some expressed concern that the pictures of guns on the fliers promoted violence against minorities.

Evansdale Mayor John Mardis condemned the fliers and touted the economic vitality that blacks and European and Mexican immigrants bring to the area.

“Immigration to this community has been a godsend,” Mardis said. “More than that, they have added to the complexity and the beauty of the culture we have.”

Waterloo Human Rights Director David Meeks said residents should report similar fliers to the police. “Then trash it,” he added.

“We can’t ignore them,” Meeks said. “We can’t sit on the sidelines because then it looks like we tolerate them.”

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Source: Globegazette.com

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