WCVB | October 31, 2015 | Report by Hannah McDonald
Police investigating multiple fliers
At a news conference called urgently outside of City Hall in Burlington, community and faith leaders revealed at least two black residents discovered fliers from the Ku Klux Klan at their homes.
“People of color have so few safe spaces in Vermont," said Jas Wheeler of Peace & Justice Center. "When the safety of our homes are violated, the community must respond and the police must be held accountable. As an afrolatina living in Vermont, I had trouble falling asleep last night,” said Jas Wheeler of Peace & Justice Center.
An “Open Letter Against Hate” began circulating Friday night, and has signed close to 200 signatures. The letter is supported by a coalition of partners, including Rights & Democracy, Justice For All, Peace & Justice Center, Vermonters For Criminal Justice Reform, Standing Up for Racial Justice, and Vermont Interfaith Action.
“These incidents of hate have no place here. This community stands for love, respect, and dignity for all. We are committed to racial justice,” said James Haslam, executive director of Rights & Democracy.
Vicky Garrison spoke to a crowd Saturday to protest what she called police insensitivity. When one of the women called 911 to report the poster, Garrison said the dispatcher dismissed her complaint.
Burlington Police Chief Brandon Del Pozo said his dispatcher did not have the power to make that decision.
The police department is thoroughly investigating the two known cases.
Plans have been made for a mass community speakout and vigil against hate at Burlington City Hall on Thursday.