Some Springfield residents got an alarming surprise on their driveways this morning.
They found bags with candy and letters from the Ku Klux Klan.
Lonnie Dempsey, a Springfield resident, was shocked when she found an unexpected bag in her driveway.
"It was a plastic bag with candy in it, four Tootsie rolls, and there was a letter in it," said Dempsey. "I opened it up and there was a big Klans letter there.
She wasn't the only one; police collected the bags from about 30 homes on Santee drive in Springfield. They say they were in the right of way and not on personal property, which means they consider it to be litter, regardless of content.
"The paper was a fact sheet of sorts dealing with statistics of black people and inviting white Americans to join the KKK," said Chief Philip Thorne, Springfield Police Department.
They are unsure where or when the bags were put there.
"It's a mixed neighborhood black and whites," said Thorne. "Several citizens who had these in their yards and would have found them if we didn't clean them up were black people…to include a black law enforcement officer. Obviously, the people distributing these items had no clue."
The paper listed a national hotline for the organization. We called the number and got a recording.
A short time later we heard back from a representative who said the letters were genuine. He says the organization isn't out to do any acts of violence and the letters were distributed simply to get more members.
"We would hope the citizens not get incited over this, lets ignore it and hopefully it will go away," said Thorne.
Dempsey turned it into a learning experience for her teenaged children.
"They are young, just starting out, and getting a feel," said Dempsey. "People actually are hating because of the color. You know I'm kind of hurt, but I know it exists… so I just educated them about it. You are going to see it, you have to deal with it."
Chief Thorne said he hasn't heard of this happening anywhere else in the area and he doesn't think it should be any cause for alarm.
The police department will dispose of all the bags the picked up.