A few dozen flyers targeting immigrants and Jews and advocating membership in the Ku Klux Klan were found scattered in the area of Ellicott City’s Main Street Saturday night, leading to a denunciation of hate speech from County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and a police investigation into their origin.
The flyers, about 40 in all, were found “dumped” on the side of the road and do not appear to be targeted at any individual person or business, Howard County police department spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said. Rather than being distributed, she said, it appeared the flyers were tossed onto the road, possibly from a moving car. The first flyer was discovered around 10:30 p.m., she said.
“It appeared more like someone dumped them outside of a car window,” Llewellyn said.
She said police are seeking the public’s help, and are hoping security cameras may have captured footage of the person or car responsible.
“We are asking that anyone with information contact us, particularly if they have doorbell cameras,” Llewellyn said.
Kittleman and Howard County Councilman Jon Weinstein posted a joint statement on their Facebook pages Sunday morning, saying they were “saddened and disturbed that fliers filled with hate speech have been distributed in Ellicott City.
“There is no place for hate in our society and after all Ellicott City has been through in the past two years, it is heartbreaking to see this community faced with this disgusting display of antisemitism, racism and intolerance."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Howard County police at 410-313-2200. Anyone who finds one of the flyers should report the location to police before disposing of it, police said.
Though these flyers have not been linked to any specific acts against people, Maryland has seen a sharp increase formal reports that people were harassed, threatened or attacked because of their religion, race or sexual orientation. In all, Maryland law enforcement agencies got 398 reports of hate or bias last year — up by more than a third from 2016.
Goucher College students demonstrated Friday on the Towson campus to protest a recent episode of hate-filled graffiti at a Maryland school.
And at the University of Maryland, several racist incidents on campus in recent years — including the killing last year of black Bowie State University student Richard W. Collins III, allegedly by a white former University of Maryland student, have increased tension and fears among current and prospective students.