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'We are everywhere' swastika flyers target Ashland businesses

Police: Cameras caught several people 'lurking around the downtown corridor'
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Posted at 5:15 PM, Jan 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-17 23:13:22-05

ASHLAND, Va. -- An investigation is underway after flyers bearing swastikas and disturbing message were found posted on the doors of several Ashland businesses Sunday morning, according to authorities.

Ashland Police said officers patrolling Railroad Avenue around 6:40 a.m. found "several leaflets posted on businesses" with a swastika and the phrase, “We are everywhere.”

"A private video camera system captured the images of several individuals lurking around the downtown corridor just after 3 a.m.," a police spokesperson said.

Officers urged any businesses with surveillance systems to review footage from 3 to 4 a.m. as it " may be of value to the investigation."

Additionally, officials said they briefed state and federal law enforcement "in case there are connections to recent regional events."

Mayor: 'Ashlanders will never be intimidated'

Ashland Mayor Steve Trivett had this message for the people responsible:

"We will pick up the trash you dropped," Trivett said. "Ashlanders will never be intimidated or influenced by any of the sour and sick extremisms that desire power yet deserve none. In Ashland we reserve our ‘extremisms’ for compassion, fellowship, and respect for others.”

Ashland Police Chief Doug Goodman called the flyers "despicable" and said "hate and division has no place in Ashland or anywhere else. "

"We will continue to investigate this case and pursue enforcement actions as allowed by the Code of Virginia,” Goodman said.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the Ashland Police Department at 804-365-6140 or leave a tip at https://www.ashlandva.gov/224/Crime-Tips. Anyone providing crime tip information can remain anonymous, police said.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.