AMELIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Disturbing messages with racist tones are circulating across several counties in the Richmond-Metro area. The messages come at a time when divisions within the United States are high and just days before a transition of power in the White House.
In the past week, residents in Henrico, Hanover, and Amelia have received propaganda promoting White Supremacy and Nazi affiliation.
Local law enforcement and officials are calling the propaganda “hateful,” “unsettling” and “despicable,” saying these messages of hate were carried out by “sick extremists”.
A Sandston residents mailbox became a target for what Henrico Police are calling a “disturbing message.” The letter was sent to 8News by a viewer.
Police say the letter was mailed to a resident last week who reported it to the department. The letter is signed by the Loyal White Knights, a well-known white supremacist group, affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.
“Greetings fellow Patriot!” the letter reads, “The BLACKS cost us the election of our GREAT LEADER’. All over the America, we plan to send them a message on Inauguration Day.”
The letter goes on, instructing people to place a slice of watermelon and Kentucky Fried Chicken in front of black people’s homes on Monday morning, so members of the Loyal White Knights can “get to the right houses.”
Henrico’s Police Chief Eric English addressed the letter saying, “We are committed to the safety and well-being of our community members. Acts of intimidation will not be tolerated in our community. Anyone committing criminal acts will be charged accordingly.”
Over in the town of Ashland, the police department is investigating after its officers found Nazi propaganda posted onto business store fronts on Sunday morning. The pamphlets were riddled with ‘swastikas’ and text reading “we are everywhere.”
Officers discovered the messaging shortly before 7 a.m. while patrolling on Railroad Avenue. The department is asking all businesses to review their security cameras for anyone loitering Sunday morning around 3 and 4 a.m.
Ashland’s Mayor, Steve Trivett, denounced the propaganda stating, “On behalf of the Town, I want to reply to those who littered our Town: We will pick up the trash you dropped. Ashlanders will never be intimidated or influenced by any of the sour and sick extremisms that desire power yet deserve none. In Ashland we reserve our ‘extremisms’ for compassion, fellowship, and respect for others.”
Ashland’s Police Chief also releasing a statement:
“This action is despicable,” he said. “This brand of hate and division has no place in Ashland or anywhere else. We will continue to investigate this case and pursue enforcement actions as allowed by the Code of Virginia.”
The most recent propaganda was reported on Monday morning, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in Amelia County. A resident reported a flyer to the sheriff’s office. A piece of paper was in a ziplock bag with a few rocks. The paper appears to be promoting white pride and supremacy.
The sheriff’s office posted about the flyer on their social media page calling it “unsettling” and “concerning.”
The letter, flyer and pamphlets are being investigated by local, state, and federal authorities.
If you know anything or spotted any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, report it to local authorities immediately.