After a brief investigation, police in Columbia, Tennessee, have made two arrests after Ku Klux Klan recruitment flyers were recently discovered outside of three Black churches in Columbia, Tennessee, according to WKRN-TV News.
38-year-old Daniel Walls and a 17-year- white male were taken into custody and charged with Civil Rights intimidation, according to The Columbia Police Department. Investigators are now trying to determine if these two people acted alone or if there was additional involvement from others.
The recruitment flyers were found outside of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel AME Church, and Faith United Missionary Baptist Church on July 12th.
Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Kenny Anderson Sr. said that some area parishioners walked out of services to discover fliers that were reportedly left by the Old Glory Knights chapter of the KKK.
The full flyer read: “You have been paid another social visit by the Old Glory Knights of the Ku Klux Klan we have a dark history here and because of you a bright future! Be Warned. Race traitors, mixed breeds, communist, homosexuals, and all other walks of Godless degeneracy, the Klan is back again and here to stay, so you’d better make amends or stay away!!!”
An email was also included on the flyer.
“It says, ‘Be warned’ That lets me know now it’s a threat,” Anderson told WKRN-TV News.“I don’t see it as a prank; I don’t see it as just three churches; why not all of them? Well, I don’t care if it’s just one, it was still an act of hate and evil, and we have to stand against that.”
The Old Glory Knights reportedly also left flyers on the steps of a mostly Black church in Mississippi about six weeks ago, according to the Associated Press. The Southern Poverty Law Center described the Old Glory Knights as a fairly new chapter of the KKK, forming in the past year.
Attorney General Johnathan Skrmetti wrote on Twitter that he and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office “condemn this un-American intimidation campaign and support our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in protecting the civil rights of all Tennesseans.”
The Tennessee State Conference NAACP issued a statement condemning the scare tactics used by the group, referring to themselves as “Old Glory Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” President Gloria J. Sweet-Love issued a statement that reads in part:
“This attack on the serenity and sanctity of Black parishioners is nothing less than demonic. This brazen act is a reminder that in 1996 numerous black churches across Tennessee and the Southeast were burned and their parishioners left without a place of worship…. We are calling on Law Enforcement and all Elected Officials to denounce this cowardly act of terrorism and stay alert to ensure that our places of worship are safe and secure.”
News of the arrests has put Anderson at ease. “I was just excited about it. I just said, ‘Amen.’ It’s been a journey, but it’s been a good journey to see people come together the way they did on last night and even before then,” said Anderson.
This article was originally published in Essence