Waterloo Region Police say they are investigating posters promoting a “White Lives Matter” march that were found scattered across New Hamburg on Wednesday.
The posters appear to be in response to Tuesday’s verdict in a U.S. trial that saw former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty in the death of George Floyd, a Black man, last May.
Police say that the posters were found in several areas of the Wilmot Township hamlet including the crosswalk on Peel Street, Theodore Schuller Park, Bleams Road, Smith Creek and Forrest Avenue.
They said one was also found on the footbridge near the cheese factory in St. Jacobs.
“Members of our Hate Crime and Extremism Investigative Team, Equity Inclusion and Diversity Unit, General Investigative Unit, Intelligence Branch, rural officers as well as members of our Emergency Operations Centre are actively monitoring and working to identify the individual(s) responsible for the poster and event,” said police spokesperson Cheri Greeno.
Greeno says police are asking residents on Eby Crescent, Forrest Avenue, Catherine Street, Jacob Street, Peel Street and Huron Road who have video footage to come forward in hopes of identifying anyone who may be involved in the incident.
A Wilmot Township councillor posted a photo of one of the posters on her Twitter page at around lunchtime on Monday.
“A day after the trial of George Floyd’s murderer, this happened,” Cheryl Gordjik wrote.
“This is not the Wilmot I want to live in. I am deeply saddened and angry by this poster in New Hamburg. When haven’t white lives mattered?”
The township also released a statement condemning the posters which was attributed to its mayor and the entire council.
“We, the Township of Wilmot Council unequivocally oppose racism of any kind, and denounce hate speech and white supremacy,” the letter began.
It ended with: “let it be clear white supremacy in all its forms is not welcome in Wilmot.”