Racist flyers were found by a number of residents of Middletown on Thursday.
Police received “a number of calls” about the flyers which were reportedly from the Nationalist Social Club, according to the Middletown Police Department.
Police said the flyers “have raised concern” because they are promoting the group as “a pro-white, street-oriented fraternity dedicated to raising authentic resistance to the enemies of our people in the New England area.”
The Anti-Defamation League, according to its website, has designated the Nationalist Social Club as a “neo-Nazi group based in the New England region” that espouses “racism, antisemitism and intolerance via the Internet, propaganda distributions and the use of graffiti.”
Middletown police on Thursday said their department “does not condone violence or any actions based on race or ethnicity and we will continue to monitor the group’s activities in our city.”
State and federal officials have been notified of the flyers and will monitor the situation, police said.
Middletown police encouraged residents to discard any flyers found and to report any suspicious activity.
Connecticut Sens. Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) and Jan Hochadel (D-Meriden), along with state Representative Kai Belton (D-Middletown), denounced the racist rhetoric on Wednesday.
“I am disgusted by the news that neo-Nazi flyers have been distributed in Middletown,” Lesser said in a statement. “Nazism is an abhorrent ideology that belongs in the dustbin of history. I will do everything in my power to support state and local law enforcement and provide assistance to houses of worship and vulnerable communities as the need arises.”
Hochadel said she was “horrified and saddened” to learn that the flyers were given out in Middletown.
“Hate has no home here in Middletown, in Connecticut, or anywhere in our country,” she said. “I commend the Middletown Police Department for raising awareness and doing what they can to ensure residents are safe.”
“Middletown stands for inclusivity, unity, and mutual respect among people of all backgrounds,” added Belton. “We will continue to support one another and demonstrate the strength of our community through actions of kindness and Compassion.”
Incidents such as the one reported in Middletown on Wednesday have become an all-too-familiar occurrence in Connecticut in recent years by groups like the Nationalist Social Club and the Patriots Front. Numerous towns across the state have been affected, including Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Enfield, Bristol, Hamden, New Haven, East Hartford, Southington and others.
Individuals representing members of the Nationalist Social Club have also been spotted on at least one occasion in Hartford holding a demonstration with banners that said things like that said “White Lives Matter,” “Defend New England” and “Defend White Lives.”
Police in August said they were investigating after a photo posted to social media showed white supremacists gathered in Bristol holding a sign that read “Keep CT White,” though authorities declined to name the group that took responsibility for the photo so as to not propagate their message.
State leaders and activists have warned that white supremacist groups have been known to mask themselves as groups that stand for things like patriotism.