First Posted: 2/18/2008

LIMA — A member of Lima City Council is offering $1,000 of his own money for information leading to the arrest or indictment of whomever are perpetrating hate crimes in Lima with the distribution of racist hate mail directly targeting Tarika Wilson, who was shot and killed by a Lima police officer during a drug raid at her home in January.During a news conference in his South Union Street home Monday afternoon, 6th Ward Councilman Derry Glenn said he is receiving dozens of complaints from frightened residents in his ward who have received a letter being circulated by white supremacists using derogatory statements toward blacks while praising Wilson’s death.“I am not trying to promote this guy or build him up, whoever he is,” Glenn said. “People are upset. People are afraid — elderly folks — some folks are staying in their homes because of this. They feel targeted. It’s time for me to step up to the plate and do something about this.”Glenn said he is contacting the FBI and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for help in tracking down the people behind the letter.Although the leader of a Nazi-based white supremacist group, Bill White of the American National Socialist Workers Party in Roanoke, Va., is claiming responsibility, Glenn said he believes there are Allen County residents involved in the distribution of the letter.In an e-mail addressed to Glenn, White said he was responsible for the letters and demanded Glenn pay him the $1,000 reward.Glenn said residents should be vigilant in watching anyone other than authorized mail carriers delivering mail.He said some of the letters are postmarked from Portland, Ore., and some of the letters, he believes, were hand-delivered. He said he’s received complaints about 35 letters in all and he believes there are many more.“This is a hate crime,” Glenn said. “We have hate-crime laws. … They are trying to create further divisions in Lima. I will not lay down on this. I will not rest.”Asked whether the letters violated any laws, Lima City Law Director Tony Geiger said he is familiar with the letters.“I am not in a position to comment about the legality or illegality of the letters” or what forms of investigations might be taking place, Geiger said.Among the many outraged Lima residents, both white and black, Natasha Allen said in a letter to The Lima News she received one of the letters.“I am an African-American whose husband happens to be white,” Allen wrote. “I was also raised in a family where the content of character was the basis on which we determined a person’s worth and not the color of his skin. … As for this letter and its content, my wish is that we could live in a society where we don’t have to hide behind the anonymity of the U.S. Postal Service to speak our minds.”

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