Local News

Community leaders say Spokane will not tolerate hate

SPOKANE, Wash. - More racist flyers showed up in Spokane Thursday, plastered to the community building downtown.

The community building is where the NAACP meets and where both the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane and the Center for Justice are located.

There is no person of interest named in this case right now, but the sheriff's office said it will be investigating. 

The flyers that were plastered across the downtown building Thursday had anti-Semitic and racist messages. But officials in our city want citizens to know that everyone is welcome here, and hate will not be tolerated.

Phillip Tyler, Spokane's NAACP president said, “the very place that was designed to bring community together was targeted by the hateful iconography that's designed to divide us and tear us apart.”

Other community leaders gathered Thursday to share a message of unity.

“Our community is our home. Every citizen, every member of our community, should feel safe in their home,” said Assistant Police Chief Justin Lundgren.

Despite the discouraging messages, John Lemus of the Spokane Human Rights Commission said, “we will continue to send a message that hate has no place in our city.”

This is one of several cases of racist messages in Spokane in recent months. Back in November, someone wrote a racial slur on the outside of the MLK Family Outreach Center.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich expressed his frustration with the recurring problem.

“For some reason, we're not learning. For some reason, we're not catching the fact that everyone in this room and everyone outside on that street and everyone in spokane is, quite frankly, getting tired of the hate,” said the Sheriff.

The NAACP is now calling on Spokane's residents to stand up against whoever posted these flyers in the same way many citizens stood up to an article published in The Guardian earlier this week that painted Spokane in a negative light.

“Now is the time for all of you, the good, decent people of Spokane -- in uniform, out of uniform, republican, democrat, young and old -- to determine how you want your community to be defined,” said Tyler.

Spokane's mayor also released a statement Thursday evening saying the city will not tolerate these offensive acts.