BY BILL JONES
Residents of Greeneville's Meadowlark subdivision have formed a neighborhood association in response to the recent discovery of Ku Klux Klan fliers on numerous lawns there.
LeRoy Ripley, who lives near the subdivision, said the discovery of Klan fliers in plastic bags that were strewn on neighborhood lawns earlier this month has raised safety concerns among residents.
Many of the neighborhood's residents are African-Americans, according to Ripley.
He noted that one African-American woman resident, who works at night, has been so concerned that she has asked Greeneville police to escort her home each night when she gets off work.
In response, he said, a neighborhood association has been formed; its first meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening.
Residents had reported the discovery of the Klan fliers to Greeneville police and to the Johnson City-Washington County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
A report filed by GPD Officer Louis Calobrisi on June 14 said a Benbow Road woman told him that she had found what she described as "hate literature" in her driveway when she returned home from an outing.
Officer Calobrisi reported finding plastic bags containing similar literature and small stones in several other driveways along Benbow Road, according to his report.
The literature was not described in the police report, which said several pieces of literature were taken as evidence.
Ripley said the NAACP subsequently contacted WJHL-TV, which sent a crew to interview neighborhood residents earlier this week.
Capt. Terry Webb, the GPD's chief detective, said a copy of a Klan flier that he received appeared to be a "recruitment letter" and did not contain any threats of violence.
However, Webb said the flier was referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a precaution.
A copy of a Klan letter provided by Capt. Webb urges recipients to join the "United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan."
Among other things, the letter denounced illegal immigration, "Black, Hispanic and Asian gangs," and homosexuality.
"Wake up White American & Take a Stand!" the letter urges.
The letter directed recipients to Post Office Boxes for the organization's "National Office" in Fraser, Mich., and "State Office" in Kingsport.
Residents of the Meadowlark subdivision say they're concerned that the Klan literature was distributed in a neighborhood that has a large number of African-American residents.
"It didn't surprise me because I know there is still hate out there," Ripley said. "But it still made me mad that they did it."