Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Milford Mayor Benjamin G. Blake held an event Wednesday afternoon to condemn a white supremacist group’s attempt to organize a neighborhood watch in town.
According to a press release from Milford police, residents found fliers in the area on Monday advertising a neighborhood watch group with the “United Klans of America” logo.
“You can sleep well tonight knowing the UKA is awake!” was printed on the pamphlets, which had been placed inside plastic ziplock bags and weighed down by rocks. The fliers were printed with an Alabama telephone number as well as a web address linking to the group’s website.
Malloy said he wanted to add his voice to the growing list of people condemning the organization’s activity in Connecticut. He said the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, as well as area religious organizations, also spoke in opposition to the group.
“Nobody in their right mind would want to support the Klan . . . It’s not welcome in the state of Connecticut. There is no reason for them to be here and we all find it repugnant,” Malloy said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
In a Tuesday press release, the Connecticut chapter of the Anti-Defamation League said the group active in Milford was unrelated to another group called the United Klans of America. That white supremacist organization was linked to violence, including murders, but disbanded sometime in the 1980s, according to the ADL.
Gary Jones, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director, said the new Alabama-based group is led by a long-time but minor Klan figure who likely chose the organization’s title based on name recognition.
“While it is never pleasant to have Klan or other hate group activity present in any neighborhood, this ‘new’ UKA does not have a history of violence and we have no reason to believe that residents of Milford should feel physically threatened or intimidated by their presence,” Jones said in a statement.
The governor said he did not believe the organization had a widespread following in Milford or in Connecticut. But he said the fliers they distributed were getting attention, which prompted him to denounce it Wednesday.
“I’m the governor of the state of Connecticut and I’m going to condemn it,” he said. “We certainly don’t want people around the country to think that’s who the people of Milford are.”
The Milford police encouraged residents who witnessed the distribution of the fliers to contact the department, but said investigators did not believe the neighborhood watch referenced in the literature to be a legitimate program. The statement encouraged Milford residents interested in participating in a neighborhood watch program to contact the department’s Crime Prevention Unit at (203) 874-2366.