As the nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Santa Ana police said they were investigating why some 40 bags filled with rocks, anti-King propaganda, Ku Klux Klan business cards and candy were left in front of homes in the Orange County city.
Police provided images of at least one of the bags, which appeared to be a Ziploc bag filled with two Tootsie Roll candies, two small rocks, an anti-MLK letter signed by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a KKK business card.
The business card had a North Carolina address and phone number. It stated “racial purity is America’s security” and “join today for your God, family, race and nation. White power.”
The notorious white supremacist organization, which is connected to decades of violence against people of color, apparently left the same type of recruitment bags in the neighboring city of Orange in a similar incident that occurred in July.
Robert Jones, who identified himself as a leader within the organization with the title "great titan," confirmed to KTLA that a local chapter of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK had left the bags in an effort to recruit more members. Jones responded to a message left at the phone number provided on the propaganda.
"We wanted to show the truth of who Martin Luther King was. ... There's a lot of communist ties," Jones said. "Who the media tries to portray who he is isn't who he really is."
Santa Ana resident Christopher Borja found one of the bags in front of his home while walking his dog Monday morning.
“It’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday today and we’re celebrating that, and I just thought it was bad taste,” he said.
In Borja’s five years living in the neighborhood, he said that he had never seen anything resembling the bags, and added that he was concerned about the possibly violent connotations.
“The thing that got me was the rock, it just seemed like a violent kind of thing to have in there,” he said.
In an email, Amanda Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK said the organization used "candy for the kids" and the rocks as weights.
Investigators appeared to have removed all the bags from the neighborhood by the afternoon, Borja said.
The bags had been distributed in a four-block radius, according to the Santa Ana Police Department's news release.
“No specific threat was noted on the business card and no crime can be established at this point. Officers have collected numerous bags and there will be an investigation,” the Police Department stated.
KTLA's Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.