Residents in Mandeville neighborhood angry about hate messages delivered to their homes

Crime

(WGNO)

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MANDEVILLE, La. (WGNO) – The Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has this to say about flyers, claiming to be the work of the Ku Klux Klan, that are causing an uproar in Mandeville’s Hidden Pines subdivision:

“Flyers are protected speech under the First Amendment. Any effort to ban or censor them would violate the Constitutional rights of the speaker. There is no legal protection against being ‘offended.’”

That statement was given to WGNO by Marjorie R. Esman of the Louisiana ACLU.

Meanwhile, Sonja Chaves says she’ll continue the fight in the neighborhood that she’s lived in since she was a teenager. Chaves reported the flyers to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office on Saturday, after her father discovered the disturbing paper while cutting the lawn.

Several members of the community emphasized that this is not a place that breeds hate.

Chaves says she feels her Puerto Rican family, and her Mexican neighbors may have been targeted. She says she spoke with her young son about why it’s important to have an open mind.

Her message to whoever distributed the racist and anti-gay paperwork:

“You know we’re not just going to stand by and just let you continue to do this to our neighborhood.  I mean we have tons of children around here and it was done on a Saturday, it’s like a kick in the face. And so if nobody else wants to say anything or stand up then I am. It’s not right, it’s wrong. And as long as I’m living here, you keep putting things in my driveway, I’m going to keep talking about it.”

The St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office says anyone with information to report should call 911.

You can also look for updates on the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

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