‘We need to stand up to these people’: Airway Heights family angry over racist flyers posted on their car
SPOKANE, Wash. – An Airway Heights family is angry after finding racist propaganda posted to their car outside of their home.
One family member spoke exclusively to 4 News Now about the experience.
Last Friday, Dean Hill and his family were having a get together at their home in Airway Heights. Once the family went inside for the night, Hill decided to go to the store.
“When I got back I was like, ‘Oh there’s a note on the car, I wonder if they’re going to street clean or something.’,” said Hill.
Instead, the flyers placed on his sisters car were covered with racist propaganda.
“I thought somebody was watching me. I was looking around, really hyper alert,” said Hill.
After checking to make sure his family was okay, he immediately called police.
“We embrace our culture and diversity of this community and we will not tolerate the divisiveness that things like that tend to push,” said Brad Richmond, Chief with the Airway Heights Police Department.
We asked the police department if this was considered a hate crime. They told us it’s considered free speech.
Regardless, Richmond said they’re taking the situation very seriously.
“Their safety is our first priority and we’re here to stand next to our community in these trying times,” he said.
While it may be a tough situation, Hill’s main priority is to spread awareness.
“People need to need to know about these things. We can’t just turn a blind eye to these types of issues anymore,” Hill said.
The Airway Heights Police Department told us they’ll be patrolling the area aggressively and watching for any criminal activity.
Richmond wrote this statement addressed to the community on the department’s Facebook page:
“This weekend our community had someone post flyers throughout our neighborhoods. The flyers that were posted are not consistent with the values that we embrace as a community of diverse culture and ethnicity. I would like to ask for our community’s help to notify us if they observe subjects posting flyers in our community.
The Airway Heights Police Department has been in contact with our Tribal partners to ensure that there is a combined message that we want our citizens to know their safety is our priority and will swiftly enforce any violations of RCW 9A.36.080 (Hate Crimes).
The Airway Heights Police Department stands alongside our residents knowing we need to all pull together guided by equity and justice. Now more than ever we need to lift each other up during these challenging times. We must not let the voice of a divisive few be heard as we embrace our unified message of a community that’s known for our strong values and individual character.
Our Police Department, in partnership with the citizens of Airway Heights, the Kalispel and Spokane Tribes, recognize the changing needs of our community and law enforcement’s role in addressing those needs. Furthermore, we pledge excellence, initiative and integrity to enhance the quality of life throughout our city knowing those we serve deserve no less.”
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