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KKK tries to recruit for 'neighborhood watch' program in Springfield

July 24, 2013|by Mike Landis, KY3 News | mlandis@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Some neighbors on the city’s west-central side were surprised by an “invitation” that landed in their yards.

Steven Burchett has come to love living here on Olive St.

“Never had any problems- never any trouble, Burchett said.”

On Sunday morning he went to get his paper, he made a surprising discovery.

“I found the note in the front yard. And it was from the Klan,” he stated.  “I was furious. I was furious.”

The notice bore the name of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Complete with the image of a hooded figure, the flyer attempts to recruit people for a so-called neighborhood watch program.  It asks, “Are there troubles in your neighborhood?  Contact the…Klan today.”

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“That just tells you what a coward they are.  A simple knock at the door, I can say I am not interested, thank you very much and go on.  But instead they have to come through in the middle of the night and drop a rock in the front yard.  Nah- that is a coward,” Burchett stated.

Steven was not the only one to find one of these fliers in his yard. In fact, KY3 News canvassed the block and found about a half dozen more them still lying on sidewalks and in people's yards.  But the other neighbors were too afraid to go on camera with us.

KY3 News then called the ‘Klanline’ phone number provided on the paper.   We talked a representative, Frank Ancona, who told us his group has a nationwide flyer campaign.  Their goal is to get people to form or join Klan-sponsored neighborhood watch groups to help police fight crime. 

Ancona said he wasn’t sure if the flier were distributed as part of an organized effort by his group, or if they were distributed by individual citizen “supports” of the KKK.

He also said the programs are not about race, claiming that if members saw a white guy 'up to no good' they would alert police just as well.

Still, residents say they don't want the Klan's assistance.

“I am upset over this. I have no use for them people. None whatsoever,” explained Burchett.  “You know this is 2013.  I don’t know what to say for words on that part on how much hate and discontent can just keep on going.

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