Fort Worth police say they've identified one suspect in connection with signs featuring hate speech recently posted across the city.
The signs included fliers with anti-immigrant messages and a banner that called for mass deportations. They caught the attention of the city's task force on race and culture that was formed in the wake of a controversial arrest last year.
A banner was seen flying from a Fort Worth bridge on Oct. 2 that said, “Deport them all.” Two days later, four flyers were plastered on city property with phrases that included “Reclaim America.”
Police say the flyers were connected to a group known as the Patriot Front.
“It’s a fine line that we walk. It is a protected speech as long as it’s not inciting violence or causing descent among one group in our community. We have to protect the rights of everybody,” said FWPD Dep. Chief Robert Alldredge.
It’s against a city ordinance to post the flyers on public property.
The city council learned Tuesday police have connected the flyers to a 19-year-old man. He’s been mailed a citation with a fine of up to $500.
Fort Worth councilmember Cary Moon said Fort Worth should upgrade city ordinances if that’s what it takes.
“Take time to personally condemn this type of behavior, probably issue something as a joint council, make Fort Worth welcoming to everybody,” Moon said.
Bob Ray Sanders is co-chair of the race and culture task force which sent out a statement earlier this month condemning the banner and flyers.
“You have the right to say basically whatever you want to say if it’s not libelous, but you must realize when you say something what you say can have consequences,” Sanders said.