LEWISTON — Local law enforcement officials say they are aware of a flyer advertising a Klu Klux Klan recruitment drive targeting the annual Peach Festival this weekend.
The flyer, distributed in Lewiston neighborhoods on Tuesday, indicates that the white supremacist organization will have "representatives" who will "make their presence known" at the festival.
"I am aware of the flyer," Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said. "We have consulted with the DA and reviewed the material and it's not a violation of law — it's free speech."
The flyer is reminiscent of a World War II military recruiting poster that featured a picture of Uncle Sam pointing his finger with the words: I WANT YOU!" underneath.
On the flyer, there is a picture of a hooded individual in traditional Klu Klux Klan dress and the words: "THE KKK WANTS YOU."
"We're looking into the distribution of the flyer, how (it was distributed) and how many," Previte said.
The flyer invites people to join KKK members in "historically white Lewiston, N.Y.", telling them to "feel free to approach our members."
It boldly proclaims: "White communities. White schools. White PRIDE!"
Previte said investigators are attempting to determine the authenticity of the flyer.
The police chief also said his department is prepared for any potential problems the presence of KKK members could create.
"We have had safety meetings (with the event organizers)," Previte said. "We plan for plan for all types of events. We don't believe there's going to be a rally there. "
Previte said he has seen reaction to the flyer rippling through social media.
"We are also looking at people's reactions on social media and some of the threats being made there," the police chief said.
The chief said he doesn't anticipate large groups of counter-protesters who sometimes show up where white supremacists congregate.
"We haven't seen groups, it's been more individuals (threatening to show up) on social media," Previte said.
Previte did warn that anyone "violating the law" would be arrested.