Some residents of Hoover, a large suburban community south of Birmingham, awoke Friday surprised to discover the flyers from the United Dixie White Knights, an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan.
‘Sleep well tonight knowing that the Klan is alert and awake,’ the flyers read, before calling attention to a controversial acquittal in an area murder trial.
Iraq veteran Gilotti was shot dead in his driveway at 4.55am on January 5, 2016, as he left his house to go to the gym.
Police believe he interrupted a car burglary in process, as there had been a string of car break-ins in the area.
Wells, 17, was acquitted of the murder in May after contentious jury deliberations, during which jurors could be heard yelling at each other and a judge had to warn the jury that ‘sympathy’ and ’emotion’ should not be considered evidence, AL.com reported.
The others charged in Gilotti’s death have yet to stand trial: Darrian Bryant, 17, Ahmad Johnson, 18, and De’Ron Lucas, 20.
‘A jury has acquitted Negro Charleston Wells of murder in the 2016 shooting death of White Hoover resident Mike Gilotti, a veteran and father of two. You better wake up whitey!’ the UDWK flyers found on Friday read.
Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector confirmed one resident had called police to report the flyers, according to AL.com.
‘The terminology used in these flyers indicated the intent was to recruit new members to a hate group based in Leakesville, Mississippi,’ Rector told the outlet.
Text on the flyers says that ‘this is part of a mass recruitment drive, no one is being targeted for race, religion, national or sexual orientation’.
‘I got the same right under the First Amendment to pass out pamphlets and literature just the same as the newspaper does,’ UDWK Imperial Wizard Brent Waller told the Clarion-Ledger last year.
The UDWK describes itself as a group of ‘proud pro white activists’ dedicated to ‘preserving a future for our race and children’.