PALMETTO BAY (CBSMiami) – The flyers bear a swastika and images of uniformed Nazi soldiers. The leaflets, distributed by a neo-Nazi group based in Tulsa, OK, appeared last week on driveways, under windshield wipers and in mailboxes of homes in the Mangowood neighborhood of Palmetto Bay. It is the second time in two years that almost identical pamphlets, from the same organization, have papered the same neighborhood.
The National Socialist Freedom Movement calls itself “The American Nazi party” on its website.
Residents of the Palmetto Bay neighborhood were aghast to have been targeted by the same bigoted message for a second time.
“I think it’s awful,” said Diane O’Prandi as she walked with her dog. “If I see something like that, I’ll be most certain to call the police.”
Peter Roberts found the flyers and their message abhorrent.
“I’m against everything that it says,” Roberts said. “I don’t know how you can keep them from doing it, though. It’s freedom of the press, freedom of speech,” Roberts added, calling the flyers and their bigoted message part of the territory in a “free” country.
CBS4 News reached “Commander” Edward McBride of the white supremacist group at a telephone number with a Delaware prefix.
“We’re just basically trying to wake up the people to the problems that are happening in the country,” McBride said.
Groups such as his are among the problems happening in the country, according to the Anti-Defamation League of Florida.
“They are a small, white supremist group,” said the ADL’s Florida Region Director Hava Holzhauer. Holzhauer said the Oklahoma-based organization was a relatively inactive outfit, but added that bigotry must be exposed and challenged wherever it appears.
“We need to speak out when there’s a message of hate,” Haolzhauer said. “Whether it be through an education program in a school, writing a letter, or responding to a flyer that’s left in somebody’s driveway.”
In November, 2011, the same group apparently papered the same neighborhood with virtually identical flyers. In the previous episode, the papers were left on driveways and front stoops. Miami-Dade police said that because the flyers contained no threats, the most the distributors were guilty of was “littering.” The investigation went nowhere.
This time could be different.
U.S. Postal Service Inspector Bladimir Rojo confirmed to CBS4 News that some of the flyers deposited last week were left in mailboxes. By law, only stamped U.S. mail may be placed in a mailbox. To put anything else in a mailbox is a Federal offense, punishable by fines.
Rojo declined to say how many mailboxes had been violated or how many complaints authorities received. Rojo said the case may yet end up at the United States Attorney’s office and that prosecutors would not want details of the investigation disclosed prematurely.
McBride, the “Commander” of the neo-Nazi group told CBS4 News, “We are a law abiding organization.”
McBride would not say whether he knew who placed the flyers in the Palmetto Bay neighborhood.