Police have identified a Wisconsin man who was seen wearing a Ku Klux Klan uniform while walking his dog on June 12.
An official statement from the Vilas County Sheriff in Eagle River, Wisconsin, says police received three phone calls about a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe on June 12 at 9 p.m. The man was allegedly walking his dog, drinking a beer and waving at traffic, per the statement. (RELATED: Elected Official In Mississippi Says Black People ‘Became Dependent’ During Slavery)
A caller identified the man in the photograph as Charles Booth of Conover, according to the statement. A deputy then responded to the call and identified Booth standing in his driveway. Booth was not violating any Wisconsin statutes or creating a traffic hazard, contrary to rumors suggesting that he had been jumping into traffic and throwing items at cars, per the police statement.
“While the Sheriff’s Office was not able to take enforcement action the Sheriff’s Office does not condone his behavior or actions,” said the official statement. “The KKK beliefs run contrary to Vilas County Law Enforcement’s mission, values, and beliefs.”
The Sheriff’s office also stated that it “strongly discourages” the actions of Booth in Vilas County, adding that the KKK is classified as a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. “We will be vigilant and continue to monitor this man’s actions.”
Vilas County Sheriff Joseph Fath told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the man told police he was “just taking his dog for a walk.”
Booth “intended to project what I believe to be white supremacist behaviors by wearing this garb,” said Gregory Jones, president of the Dane County NAACP, to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.”It is intended to create fear among people — even people who are not of color.”
Jones added that people in Vilas County “should be mindful and be willing to stand up and say this is not acceptable in our county at all.”
Booth has a history of traffic violations and was found guilty of criminal damage to property in 2013, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.