Police in California are investigating a slew of racist leaflets left on the windshields of car in Sacramento.
According to Sacramento community activist Denise Calderon who found copies on vehicles throughout her neighborhood, the letters are intended to incite violence against the city’s Latino and Muslim communities.
“It basically gives a green light to assassinate Muslims and Latinos in our community,” Calderon said, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The letter, which was signed by a man named Greg Withrow, ends with the sentence, “If you have not secured a body dump-site, do so now! Kidnap, rob, torture for information and execute all Muslims and Latinos. Leave no survivors.”
“I've been living here six years, we have all kinds of crazy, but this is a different level of crazy,” said Calderon.
Withrow is a well-known white supremacist in California and the president of the Aryan Youth Movement–White Student Union. During the 1980s, he was slapped with a restraining order for attempting to form a chapter of the union while a student at American River College in northern Sacramento.
He is also known for his opposition to the day honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and for distributing leaflets to homes in Sacramento on the holiday.
Withrow has allegedly renounced his legacy of hate, but police in Butte County linked him to hate literature distributed on doorsteps in the city of Paradise in 2005.
Sacramento police said they are unsure if Withrow is behind the leaflets, but that they are investigating all possible leads.
“The fliers contained some hateful speech and appeared to be promoting a white supremacist group,” said Sacramento police spokesman Officer Matthew McPhail.
McPhail added that the department is treating the incident “with the seriousness it obviously deserves," but added that even though the rhetoric in the leaflet is considered hate speech that seems to encourage violence, it does not necessarily constitute a hate crime.
"The first amendment does protect the right to free speech, even if that speech is deplorable or despicable," McPhail told Fox 40. "Part of the investigation will be trying to determine if there is some crime associated with the distribution, some sort of other act that has taken place."
While residents said they are happy to see the police taking the incident seriously, they are still concerned that the leaflets might lead to violence.
"I hope they don't wait until it [does]," said Sacramento resident Linda Contreras.