LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ — A Valley community is banding together after a campaign of hate shows up right on their doorstep. The subdivision in Litchfield Park is not alone.
The group claiming responsibility for leaving dozens of racist flyers across Litchfield Park admits to being behind similar incidents in 11 states across the country, following the anniversary of the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes.
ABC15 spoke to multiple residents of the Litchfield Park community who found flyers outlining racist ideology and hate on their property. Residents tell us after speaking to neighbors, they discovered most of the people who received the flyers were Black, Hispanic, multi-racial families.
"I was shocked, taken back by what I was looking at," said one woman who asked we don't use her name as she was afraid of being targeted further by these groups.
She found the flyer tucked into the windshield of her vehicle. Others found them plastered on trash cans left on the curb or littered on their front porch.
"I'm just disgusted that it's happening in our own neighborhood. Like, racism is there, but it's never been this close to our house or home," said another Litchfield Park resident who asked to remain anonymous.
ABC15 has chosen not to publicize the message posted on the flyers or identify the white supremacist group who has their name plastered all over the flyers as well, but we did speak to the organization's leader.
He told ABC15 their group was indeed behind the flyers and that their target was not just Litchfield Park. They would be leaving similar flyers in neighborhoods throughout Arizona. He told us the group has about 20-30 members in Arizona and is active not only in this state, but also across the nation.
The Anti-Defamation League that has been tracking the group's activities tells ABC15 these groups typically use amateur, low-budget flyers as their calling card, and while their numbers seemed small, they still needed to be taken seriously.
"They want their advertising for people to join them, but the other part is really to strike fear into those in the community that are being targeted by these," said Tammy Gillies, the Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League.
She urged communities to deliver back a more powerful message than what was on the flyers.
"We are better than this. This is not what we're about right? Arizona, Phoenix, we are no place for hate. We are not going to tolerate this," said Gillies.
Neighborhood surveillance cameras have captured the image of a man putting flyers onto a car windshield. The white supremacist group confirmed to ABC15 that the man was indeed, one of their members.
"I think that we just have to take this kind of hate very seriously. I think we see that language; rhetoric can oftentimes lead to physical violence and so none of this should just be sort of slopped off as this is just a bunch of guys. These people are clearly committed to an ideology of hate," said Gillies.
Litchfield Park residents who received the flyers tell ABC15 they felt a little uneasy knowing they were targeted because of their race.
"This is pretty bold you know, going on to someone's property," said one woman.
"It is really personal, it feels really personal," said another man.
"It is very hard when hate shows up on your doorstep but know that there's a greater community out there that doesn't believe in this, and that needs to come together and be strong together," added Gillies.
Maricopa County Sheriff's officials said they were aware of the incidents and detectives were looking into whether any crimes had been committed through this group's actions.