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Residents, police chief outraged after community paper publishes KKK recruitment flyer

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – A local newspaper is under fire by residents of Westmoreland County after publishing a Ku Klux Klan recruitment flyer on its front page. 

The Westmoreland News, located in Montross, recently published a story about the KKK flyers being left in driveways in Colonial Beach. The article quotes the local police chief speaking out against the flyers, which included racist and anti-Semitic language.

The problem? Along with the article, the paper published a large image of the flyer, which appeared next to the article on the front page. Residents are outraged, saying the page’s design looks like an advertisement for the KKK.

"It was disgraceful. Shameful," one Westmoreland County resident named Veronica, who wished to not give her last name, said. "The KKK is equivalent to Isis. One is domestic terrorists and the other is just terrorists. It's not right and it shouldn't have been done."

More than a hundred residents also took to the paper’s Facebook page en masse, leaving disappointed and often angry comments. 

Some vow to cancel their subscriptions and pull their advertising.

“I'm not sure who in their right mind would think that posting a KKK article would be acceptable in this day and age,” said one reader.

“Heartbreaking to see such an agenda being pushed in a local community that has such immense ties to history,” said another.

Most of the disparaging comments referred to the publication of the detailed image of the flyer, not the article itself. The article, which does not include a byline indicating the author, speaks mostly to residents and community leaders concerned by the flyers.

Colonial Beach Police Chief Danny Plott admits he's the one who gave a copy of the flyer to the newspaper to help with the story, but said he never expected it would be published.

"It bothers me to think that kids would read that stuff and while it didn't incite anyone to violence, some of the statements in there were just disgusting," Plott told 8News.

8News has called and emailed the Westmoreland News for a response about the publication of the KKK flyer. So far, they have not responded. 

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