Police confront man accused of spreading racist fliers, CDs acro - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police confront man accused of spreading racist fliers, CDs across Sandpoint

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SANDPOINT, Idaho -

It's a story we've covered multiple times in the past year: A string of hateful fliers circulating, not only through North Idaho, but across the country. Now police in Sandpoint, Idaho, and West Virginia say they have found the man behind them.

In a video from the Sandpoint Police Department, officers confront Scott Rhodes about allegedly placing audio CDs on cars at Sandpoint High School.

“Well we’re here to talk to you about the CDs and the fliers that you put out,” officers told Scott Rhodes.

It’s unlikely he’ll be charged with anything, the language used in the fliers, which some are calling racist, falls under First Amendment protection.

But body camera video obtained by the Sandpoint Reader thanks to a public records request shows Sandpoint officers informing Rhodes he’s no longer allowed on Lake Pend Oreille School District property for over a year.

Rhodes denied having any part of distributing the CDs and told officers to call his lawyer.

“We know it’s you, we’ve had you on our radar handing out the fliers, putting them on lawns, we know you went to the school,” one officer told Rhodes.

“We’ve got you on video, four cameras out to the front,” another one said.

“I’ve never handed out fliers,” Rhodes responded.

The incident in question happened in late November.

Over 50 purportedly racist CDs called “spread the truth” were placed on cars at Sandpoint High School.

But, this is not the only investigation in question.

According to a Sandpoint Police report, Alexandria, Virginia, police asked officers in Sandpoint for help when Alexandria city leaders began getting threatening phone calls last fall.

The report says investigators in Virginia tracked the phone number back to Rhodes.

The publisher at the Sandpoint Reader, Ben Olson, says people in Sandpoint were curious to see who was allegedly behind the fliers.

Olson says they filed a public records request weeks ago to the police report and body cam video from Sandpoint Police.

But the fliers started popping up around Sandpoint last year, targeting the mayor, local journalists, and members of the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force.

Things began to heat up come September when the task force called for a press conference.

During the conference, a proclamation from Idaho Governor Butch Otter denounced the hate-filed fliers that contained images, for example, of Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad in a gas chamber.

Olson says the fliers don’t reflect the community.

"There is absolutely no support for racism in our community, it's a very small minority,” Olson said, “maybe even down to just a few individuals who have probably been responsible for this stuff."

KHQ reached out to Rhodes for comment, we still have not heard back.

KHQ received a statement from the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force saying:

“Recent news articles have shared the identity of the person believed to have blanketed the Sandpoint High School parking lot with hate promoting CD’s. Fortunately, Sandpoint High School administration worked swiftly with their school resource office to remove the offensive material from cars. There is suspicion that this person may be responsible for the flyers that were circulated earlier as well. Bonner County residents, including the youth, have shown over and over that they will not tolerate racist, bigoted or anti-Semitic actions and materials. They have shown this through their actions of unity again and again.”

“The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force will continue to partner with the community in their work towards greater understanding and acceptance of all. We pledge to fight against prejudice in any form. We continue to do this through networking with other community groups, educational presentations, scholarships and community grants. Join hands with BCHRTF and the community in standing up against prejudice and hate. Not in our town, not in our state.”

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