American Christian Knights fliers found in Luverne, organization claims responsibility

Published 4:58 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fliers promoting the American Christian Knights Ku Klux Klan chapter were spotted around Crenshaw County on Monday. Ray Edwards, Imperial Wizard of the organization confirmed that they have been distributing the fliers throughout Alabama. The American Christian Knights are based in Mississippi.

By: Shayla Terry

Monday night, Luverne resident Tae Carter said her mother returned home from work to find a small, plastic bag on her property with a recruitment flier from the American Christian Knights, a Ku Klux Klan affiliate.

“It bothered us,” Carter said. “My mother threw it in the garbage can outside, and said she didn’t want anything to do with it.”

Carter feared her family had been targeted, and immediately sought help from Crenshaw County Emergency Management Agency director Elliot Jones.

“I immediately contacted Chief Mike Johnson, and we worked together to look into the incident,” Jones said. “I rode out to the Carter residence, and found even more bags that had been dropped at other people’s mailboxes.”

Angel Strickland, owner of the Lil’ Explorers Day Care in Luverne reported having the bag placed near her mailbox, too.

“It was odd, but I found that I wasn’t the only one who had received one,” Strickland said.

Strickland’s neighbor, Luverne Mayor Ed Beasley, also received one, and so did her parents across town.

Ray Edwards, Imperial Wizard of the Mississippi based American Christian Knights organization acknowledged that the organization has been distributing the flyers.

“We have been distributing literature throughout the state,” Edwards said.  “We’re an organization that stands for white Christian values in America. Several people refer to it as hatred, but the fact of the matter is that we stand for ourpeople, race and our values. The literature isn’t distributed in any particular area or to any particular person.”

The American Christian Knights are headquartered in Moselle, Miss., more than 200 miles west of Crenshaw County. According to the organization’s website, it requires members to participate in knight riding, which they defineas the act of passing out flyers at night to assist in building membership in the organization.

“We had multiple people to come in and report the incidents,” Luverne Police Chief Mike Johnson said. “The matter has been turned over to investigations. At this point, we don’t have anything other than littering to charge with criminally.”

Spottings of Ku Klux Klan propaganda has been widespread even outside of Crenshaw County. A year ago in Troy, a similar situation occurred to Franklin and Meril Berry.

“We got up one morning, and they were all over our yard,” Meril Berry said. “Our neighbors received them as well.”

Berry says she immediately contacted the Troy mayor’s, but found they already knew about the propaganda being distributed.

“We had small pint-sized bags, with a flier and a rock inside of it,” Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said. “We don’t have any idea who put them out; they just showed up.”

Barr said they never found who put out the bags, but found that the affiliate group was based out of state.

“If we knew who to go after, we would,” Barr said. “No one ever sighted a vehicle or anyone passing them out. The fliers were put out in a few neighborhoods, and that was it. They were gone. It just looked to me like some people trying to stir some trouble.”

Crenshaw County Sheriff Mickey Powell said while nobody in the county has been threatened, actions such as what was done with distribution of the flyers will not be tolerated in Crenshaw County.

“We are asking the public that if anyone comes up, or says anything to them about it, to please let us know,” he said. “We don’t want these kind of things going on in Crenshaw County. We’ve never had any racial problems, and we are not going to let it start. Whoever is doing this is not welcome here.”