Wisconsin man spotted walking his dog in KKK robe, hood
The Dane County NAACP has described the racist antics of Charles Michael Booth as a 'terrorist act.'
A distressing photo emerged online over the weekend showing a man wearing a KKK hood and robe while walking his dog in rural Wisconsin.
Charles Michael Booth, 50, has been identified as the suspected Klansman in the photo, that was first posted on Facebook by user Rachel Byington, Heavy reports.
“Hey Vilas County folks. A friend took this photo near the Lakota boat landing off of Highway K in Conover,” Byington captioned the image. “Be careful. I did not take the picture and the person who did wants to remain anonymous,” she added.
Booth’s agitator stunt comes amid ongoing civil unrest over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks, whose deaths have fueled ongoing debate about race relations in America.
The image of the Klansman and his pooch has been widely shared across social media, with some users noting that the Ku Klux Klan has a strong presence in that area of northern Wisconsin.
Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath said wearing a KKK robe and hood in public is not a crime, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
“It should not have bothered anybody. I realize that that may be offensive to some people, but it’s not a crime.,” said Faith of the handful of complaints the department received about a man in a KKK gown walking his dog June 12.
“He was walking down Highway K, which is about two to three miles out of Conover,” he added. “It’s a country road. It’s not in anybody’s particular neighborhood.”
Deputies reportedly contacted Booth about the incident and he explained that he was simply “taking his dog for a walk.”
Meanwhile, Dane County NAACP president Gregory Jones has described Booth’s antics as a “terrorist act.”
Speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he explained, “[Booth] intended to project what I believe to be white supremacist behaviors by wearing this garb,” Jones said. “It is intended to create fear among people—even people who are not of color.”
He added, “[People in Vilas County] should be mindful and be willing to stand up and say this is not acceptable in our county at all.”
According to county court records, Booth was found guilty in 2013 of criminal damage to property, the report states.
In related news, over 3 million people have signed several online petitions on Change.org calling for the Ku Klux Klan to be classified as a terrorist organization.
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