ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) - A Person County judge fined a KKK member $1,000 for littering this week as the judge tried to send a message to the organization’s members about coming to the community.
In April, police arrested Justin Adams, who traveled to Roxboro from Pennsylvania. Someone called 911 after seeing him post fliers under car windshield wipers.
“It’s freedom of speech. I have the right to speak and say what I want. And, putting out these fliers is our way of reaching out to communities to let them know the Klan is there. If they want to join, they can join,” Adams said.
Police charged him with littering, saying some of the fliers ended up on the ground.
“We do not support the message of the KKK. We have historically demonstrated that and will continue to take appropriate actions. I commend the citizen for calling 911," wrote Roxboro Police Chief David Hess in an email. "See Something Say Something is what allowed this arrest. I commend officers for taking appropriate actions We support people exercising their constitutional rights. Littering is not a protected right and I commend our officers for taking appropriate action.”
Adams returned to Roxboro Thursday for a hearing before Chief District Judge Mark Galloway.
CBS 17 reviewed an audio recording of the hearing, during which Galloway referenced previous incidents of violence and vandalism in the community involving members of the KKK who traveled to the area from other states.
He acknowledged Adams was not involved in those incidents.
He went on to say to the man’s attorney, “Your client has made a choice, and I’m going to do what I can to let others know that’s not a good choice for them to make.”
Adams criticized the judge’s decision.
“So, he said he wanted to make an example out of me,” Adams said. “But, what got me was the way he was so biased. The judge is supposed to come into a case and look at it without a biased view.”
Galloway declined to comment Friday, citing judicial ethics rules.
In December 2016, a caravan of KKK members drove through Roxboro with witnesses telling CBS 17 that some of the people involved yelled racial slurs.
Galloway said during Thursday’s hearing, “The phrase I always heard was, we don’t need any – and you want to know what I’m getting ready to say? – out-of-town agitators.”