FENTON, MO (KPLR) - Residents of a Fenton area neighborhood in Jefferson County are up in arms after the Ku Klux Klan began distributing flyers saying the white supremacist group was forming a neighborhood watch group in the area around Fiedler Court.
It was about 10:30pm Tuesday when witnesses say a white van slowly crept through the apartment complex. Small bags were being thrown out like newspapers, containing a few rocks to weight them down, and flyers with a sketch of a hooded Klansman pointing in a fashion remeniscant of the old “We Want You” recruiting posters of “Uncle Sam.”
“You can sleep knowing the Klan is awake!” the flyer announces. It says “Neighborhood Watch” at the top, and asks the reader if there are troubles in the neighborhood. At the bottom it asks the reader to go to the group’s website or call a phone number.
A second version of the flyer contains Klan logos and a skull and crossbones. It shouts, “Beware,” it what it calls a warning to criminals.
“It’s just really appalling,” one woman, who asked not to be identified told us.
She and her boyfriend, a biracial couple with four children, say they’re concerned about repercussions of going public against a hate group.
“I was kind of uneasy about it,” the man said. “I have biracial children. It’s just unsettling ya know. I didn’t lose any sleep but at the same time it kind of worries me.”
We called the number on the flyer and reached Frank Ancona, a Park Hill, MO man who says he is the Imperial Wizard of the Traditional American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. He claims his group received at least a dozen phone calls from people in the Fenton area asking his organization to help fight crime.
Asked if that wasn’t the job of police, he said, “Well, exactly that is the job of the police department, but the police can’t be everywhere all the time. The police need a helping hand. They need the citizens of the community.”
Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies tell Fox 2 neighborhood watches are the job of neighbors and they need no such help from the Klan.
People we spoke to who live in the area unanimously declared their disbelief in the statement that anyone contacted the Klan.
“I’d really like to know where it’s listed in the yellow pages. Under hate? That would be good,” resident Lori Kifer told us.
Residents gathered outside the complex manager’s office Wednesday afternoon, clearly unhappy about the presence of the Klan in their neighborhood.
Kifer was livid, saying, “To think that someone came here in the middle of the night spewing hatred. They don’t even have the guts to do it during the day, to talk to anybody. No I don’t buy it.”
Ancona was unapologetic for showing up, and says law abiding citizens have nothing to fear from his organization. Who does?
“Maybe the drug dealers and the thieves out there,” he said.
Asked if he can’t understand why minorities in particular would be upset by the Klan’s presence, he said, “I don’t understand why they would because we are guaranteed the same rights under the constitution that they are. And so we have every right to do this and we intend to do it.”
He also says his group will conduct their neighborhood watch in the area, though their presence will not be announced by white sheets and pointy hats.
“He could be your pizza delivery guy, your nurse practitioner at the doctor’s office. He could be one of the county sheriffs,” Ancona said.
He went on to allege it could also be an employee in a newsroom. Asked how many members his group had, he declared it a Klan secret, but implying their numbers are in the thousands. Photographs on the group’s website never show more than an couple of dozen members in one spot.
With the flyer telling residents they can sleep, we asked on African-American resident in their presence made him feel that way.
“Honestly no. It just makes me bring my pistol a little closer,” he said.
Sheriff’s deputies tell Fox 2 they are investigating what happened, though it does not appear any laws were broken.
As for neighborhood watch groups, deputies tell us those are for neighbors. They say they certainly don’t need any help from the Ku Klux Klan.