The protestors in Ferguson, Mo., awaiting the grand jury decision on Darren Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, have “awakened a sleeping giant” in the Traditionalist American Knights of the Klu Klux Klan.
The Missouri chapter of the infamous terrorist organization put out fliers to warn the public that they “will use lethal force as provided under Missouri Law to defend ourselves.”
The leader of the Missouri chapter, Frank Ancona, spoke to MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Wednesday to explain why the KKK distributed the warning fliers.
“Actually it’s addressing the people who are making these terroristic threats and letting them know that the people of Missouri have rights too,” Ancona said.
Ancona believes that his warning fliers addressed to “the terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protestors’,” is making the situation better in Ferguson.
Anxiety over the possibility of protests getting violent has gotten local school officials worried about the safety of the children. In a letter posted to the Hazelwood, Mo., school district’s website by the superintendent, the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office told districts it would give them three hour’s notice of the jury’s decision if it falls on a weekday and 24 hours notice if it comes on the weekend, according to a Reuters report.
In addition to schools, local businesses near the Ferguson Police Department and along the street where looting took place in August have boarded up their windows in case the situation gets out of control.
Prior to the distribution of the KKK’s flier, protests in Ferguson have been mostly peaceful while the protesters anxiously await the jury’s decision. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, a group of organizers have held trainings for at least 600 potential protesters in the last week. Activists have asked for a 48-hour early notice of the grand jury decision.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Tuesday that the National Guard was part of a multi-force contingency plan to avert violence, according to the New York Times.
On Thursday, the jury heard testimony from Dr. Michael Baden, a private pathologist hired by the Brown family for a second opinion on the autopsy.
The jury’s decision is expected at some point this month.