In April, residents of Van Buren County found an unwelcome sight in their yards; fliers promoting the Ku Klux Klan. So many people brought concerns to law enforcement that the U.S. Attorney's Office stepped in and held a meeting about recognizing and reporting hate crimes.
Then, the propaganda began showing up in Davis County. Bloomfield Police Chief Shawn Armstrong said last week that the department was looking into the incidents. Now, it seems the propaganda has spread to Wapello County. Chief Deputy Don Phillips of the Wapello County Sheriff's Office said residents in Agency and Eldon have found fliers with rocks in their yards.
Most of the fliers have been found on the edge of the street, near a mailbox, some of them tossed into yards. But unless whoever is responsible is caught deliberately trespassing onto someone's property, the sheriff's office can't charge them with anything.
"I mean, you have your constitutional rights, if they're not breaking any laws, there's really nothing we can do about it," Chief Deputy Phillips said. "People might find this annoying or upset them, but you have a constitutional right to freedom of speech."
Phillips said he's never seen propaganda distributed like this in the 20 years he's been working at the Wapello County Sheriff's Office. Reports of the rocks and fliers seemed to have slowed down over the weekend.
If you do find a note, which is usually accompanied with rocks, Phillips encourages you to call your sheriff's office so they have the information on record.