Havre Daily News
A slew of expletive-filled fliers were left at businesses and homes around Havre early this morning, prompting police to collect them.
The 8-by-11-inch hand-drawn and copied fliers said "Whites get out," "Get off our (expletive) land" and made a reference to "your soldiers." The fliers were signed "Native Pride," and included a drawing of an upside down, burning American flag.
Police have no leads or suspects, Assistant Police Chief George Tate said today.
He speculated that the fliers could be a prank or were put up by someone looking to stir up controversy.
"We've gathered up several," he said, "all the way from Ben Franklin to the south part of town."
Police have collected 30 so far, he said. Most of them were found on streets, sidewalks and driveways, rolled up with rubber bands, he said. Some were taped to business and residential doors, including the home of Havre Mayor Bob Rice.
Police first heard about the flier at 4:15 a.m. when a newspaper carrier came into the station with one. Police began driving around town, picking the fliers up as they saw them, Tate said.
At 5:53 a.m., another newspaper carrier came into the station with 11 fliers. So far, police have received four reports about the incident.
Tate said the fliers could be related to a number of different issues. Because of the reference to "your soldiers," the flier could be an expression of someone's stance on the war in Iraq, he said. The fliers could also have something to do with a discussion about racism in Havre that was prompted by a report on race put together by the University of Montana journalism school. One of the stories, called "Bordering on Racism," was specifically about racism in Havre.
The fliers also could be just a prank, Tate said.
Police could bring littering and disorderly conduct charges against the author, but that's all, Tate said.
"Other than the foul language, it's really just stating an opinion," Tate said. "There's not much we can do."
Rice said he found a flier posted on his door when he left the house at 6:15 a.m. today. So far, he has had three calls at his office about them, he said.
Rice said he has made copies for City Council members so they know about it.
After the journalism students' article was published, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a federal mediator to Havre in June to talk with community members about racism. The mediator will visit again in August to speak with more people and community leaders.