Police in Burlington County said they are investigating signs taped to a tree and utility pole near a home with a Black Lives Matter placard as a potential bias crime.
Two signs that read “IT’S OK TO BE WHITE” were posted in front of a property on Main Street in Medford that has a Black Lives Matter sign on the front lawn
The homeowner found the fliers on the morning of Nov. 1. He did not call police but did call it out in a Facebook post with a picture.
“Then I put them in the trash where they belonged,” said Zachary Wilson, the homeowner.
Police said someone who saw Wilson’s social media post sent them an email and that’s how they became involved. Medford Police Chief Richard Meder said his department began investigating the incident last week and notified the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office about it this week.
Meder said his officers did not see the fliers at Wilson’s home because he had taken them down and thrown them away before they contacted him on Nov. 4 – when they received the email. He said the email included photo of a sign from another location but officers were not able to find it either.
Wilson said someone also emailed him a photo of the flier in another location, which he believed was near Mulberry Street in Medford.
Wilson’s social media post had almost 300 comments, including a post by a state-based white supremacist group.
Wilson, 40, who is white, and works in employee benefits, said his put the Black Lives Matter lawn sign in front of his home shortly after the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May.
“Maybe next time you can knock on my door and to talk instead of sneaking around at night and leaving trash on my property,” Wilson’s social media post said. “We can discuss the difference between ‘being white’ versus being a ‘white supremacist.’ “
Wilson said he thought it was “curious” that fliers were taped in front of his home. He said he had held up the Black Lives Matter sign as a procession of 200 cars passed by his home on Main Street during a makeshift rally in support of President Donald Trump the week before Election Day.
“I had to send my daughter into the house because of some of the language I heard from people in the parade,” Wilson said. “My first thought when I saw the fliers was that someone had seen my Black Lives Matter sign and took it personal.”
Wilson said he never felt threatened when he saw the fliers. “I don’t think it was a message for me,” he said. “I think it was directed to Black people in the community.”
A request for comment Thursday from the Southern Burlington County NAACP was not immediately returned.
“It’s our job to stand up about injustice,” Wilson said. “To not support Black Lives Matter is a tacit support for a society that is unequal.”
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