“We are in fact in a war for our people,” read one of the fliers, which led with a swastika at the top. Other fliers denigrated the Black Lives Matter movement, attacked Jewish people and invoked Adolf Hitler.
Prichard told The Washington Post that his department has investigated the group to determine whether they needed to prepare their community for future acts of violence and concluded that the group does not have a large national presence.
Although relatively small, the group does appear to have a multistate presence. Similar fliers were distributed in August in central Kentucky, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader, and in Austin, according to KXAN, which reported that at least one of the group’s members lives in Spokane, Wash.
Although Hollywood Park police have found no evidence of a widespread presence, Prichard acknowledged that the extreme nature of the messages is a reason for concern by the department.
“It does create tension and a divide in the community, which could then produce criminal activity,” Prichard told The Post. “My opinion is that they are trying to recruit and make it a larger organization.”
In October, the Department of Homeland Security released an annual threat assessment that determined that white supremacist extremists “will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland.”
In his forward to the report, acting DHS chief Chad Wolf said he was “particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years.” Wolf added that these organizations “seek to force ideological change in the United States through violence, death, and destruction.”
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg harshly condemned the fliers on Sunday, saying that “racism and hatred” are not welcome in the city.
“San Antonio is a city of inclusion, compassion and strength through diversity,” he said in a statement Sunday. “We will work together to root [racism and hatred] out whenever they appear, and that includes the actions of white supremacists.”
The 14First group is a self-proclaimed racist organization that has 500 members nationwide, the group’s vice president, Ronald Murray, told the San Antonio Express News.
The fliers are meant to encourage White people “to stand up and not allow the genocide and brutalities that are occurring to the white community at the hands of minorities,” Murray told the Express News.
The Hollywood Park Police Department said it had collected over 50 fliers, but believed hundreds were distributed in zip-top bags with small rocks to anchor them in the wind.
The fliers did not contain explicit plans for violence, nor did they suggest there were gatherings in the area, the police said Tuesday, adding that they have reached out to both local and federal agencies including the FBI to “alert them of the situation.”
“Because of the content of these fliers, we did reach out to the FBI, just to make them aware, because that is something they have the tools and resources to handle, should it become an issue,” Prichard said.
In a news release shared on Facebook, the police described the content of the pamphlets as “anti-black lives matter and anti-abortion rhetoric,” which prompted criticism from some residents who argued that the police should not dismiss the extremist and anti-Semitic nature of the messages.
“Please don’t dismiss the white supremacy rhetoric,” wrote one resident, Claudia P. Silva, who said the fliers were also distributed in her neighborhood in Stone Oak.
Prichard said the department continues to monitor the situation “to ensure safety” of residents.
“We don’t like it but as of right now it is still freedom of speech,” he said.