WHITESTOWN, Ind. — The Whitestown Police Department is investigating after residents reported finding papers that read, “no white guilt,” and “white lives matter,” distributed through several neighborhoods early Wednesday morning.
“Yesterday morning our officers received several reports of some suspicious activity in one of the neighborhoods here in town. They went and spoke to the people that called in,” said John Jurkash, operations captain for the Whitestown Police Department.
“What they found was there was literature put in baggies and placed in various locations around the neighborhood,” he said. “We then got reports in a different neighborhood that there was a similar package and literature.”
The flyers also listed websites related to the literature. Jurkash said the flyers were discovered in the Maple Grove and Walker Farms neighborhoods.
“As of right now we know of two neighborhoods that fall within our jurisdiction, possibly a third that falls into another jurisdiction that’s related,” said Jurkash.
He said as detectives have collected evidence and conducted their preliminary investigation, they are led to believe everything was randomly dispersed and where the flyers were distributed was not a result of any targeted hate.
“It was just done to create some uncertainty and a little bit of unrest,” Jurkash said. “At this time there is no targeted hate speech, no incentives for violence or anarchy or anything of that nature.”
He said detectives are going through the documents to make sure there is nothing additional that would take the investigation in a different direction.
Doniqueca Johns has lived in the Walker Farms neighborhood for eight years. She said she moved there because it’s a diverse neighborhood to raise her family.
On Wednesday, she discovered two flyers, one containing each of the literature. The first paper was found in a plastic baggie and held down by a rock inside, the second, tucked into her door handle on her minivan.
“I took pictures of it and posted it right away and just appears the response from my other neighbors is that they had the same experience early in the morning as well,” she said. “It was just a message of hate and that’s not called for here, it’s not welcomed here either.”
Johns said at first, she believed her family may have been targeted specifically, but when she posted on social media, learned they were not alone.
“You can see I’ve got my Black Lives Matter sign and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me that they didn’t single me out,” she said. “So, it actually made me feel better that I wasn’t singled out.”
“It’s the message of hate instead of love and that’s the last thing our kids need to hear, that’s the last thing our country needs to be going through right now.”
Johns said she hopes this will stop and people will feel encouraged to have conversations with their neighbors to learn more about them, their similarities to one another, and their differences that make them unique.
“It’s not what our community needs is a message of hate. We need a message of unity, bringing each other together, loving on each other,” she said. “Find love in your heart. I know it’s there.”
Jurkash said he wants people in Whitestown and Boone County to know the police department takes these reports seriously and will continue investigating them.
“We understand people know their rights but try not to use that to incite the negative in the community. You know, use that to build the positive,” he said. “We want to build those relationships not use it to tear anybody down.”
“It may not be illegal, but we want to encourage the community to act in ways that are responsible and show that we’re caring about each other. I don’t think there’s enough of that going on right now,” said Jurkash.
On Thursday, the Town of Whitestown issued a statement in response to the flyers distributed through neighborhoods in the community, calling them ‘racist material.’
“The Town was extremely disappointed when it received reports that racist material was recently distributed in some of our neighborhoods. This hateful material is not reflective of our values in Whitestown. The Town rejects the material and its premises and does not condone hate in any form. We are proud of our residents who are welcoming of others and our community culture of inclusiveness. The Whitestown Metropolitan Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact WMPD at 317-769-2677.”Spokesperson, Town of Whitestown
Police ask if anyone has information or videos to share them as detectives continue investigating.