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Police talk with man distributing racist stickers

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police during the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 16, investigated complaints about a man distributing racist literature to passersby and storeowners in the Marble Works shopping complex.
Investigating police officer Kristine Bowdish said a local man had been passing out stickers that evening bearing three different racist messages, including, “Enough! Whites: let’s start taking back America now!” and “Stop Immigration! Non-whites are turning America into a Third World slum.”
The messages bear a link to a group called National Alliance, based out of Hillsboro, W.V., and asks for a monetary contribution.
Bowdish said police located the man and told him about the complaints about the literature he had been passing out. Bowdish said she has heard a report of one of the stickers being affixed to a car.
But since authorities could not prove the man had personally affixed any of the stickers to public or private property and since he is protected by the Constitutional guarantee of free speech, he could not be cited for any crime. Police could also not link the distribution of such material to any kind of hate crime.
“We let him know we had a complaint, and that some people were not happy with the content (of the stickers),” Bowdish said.
A local resident told the Independent that someone had left the stickers on her Seymour Street property that same day. After she removed them another set of stickers was left on the property. In neither instance were the stickers affixed to anything.
A different local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he observed 20 of the stickers dispersed around Otter Creek Park off Weybridge Street. He  wondered why police couldn’t cite the man leaving the stickers on the ground for littering, which carries a fine.

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