GRAPHIC WARNING: Mayoral hopeful says he received racially charged threat

GRAPHIC: UDC denounces racially charged threat against official
(Source: KSLA News 12)
(Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - One of Shreveport's eight mayoral candidates says a racially charged message was delivered to his family home in the city's Allendale neighborhood.

District 3 Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson discussed the matter during a news conference Wednesday afternoon at Peaceful Rest Baptist Church.

Jackson said he found the flyer Wednesday morning.

It appears to allude to the Confederate statue on the north side of the Caddo Courthouse grounds in downtown Shreveport. A court has cleared the way for the commission to remove the statue.

"Those are words that I don't take lightly," Jackson said of the message on the flyer.

Later Wednesday, the Shreveport area chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy denounced the threat and offered to help with any investigation into the matter.

"This is hate is what this is," Jackson said during the news conference.

KSLA News 12 has chosen to blur out a racial slur included on the flyer.

"Shreveport and Caddo Parish should be about love. We should be about unity."

Jackson said he's also received threatening phone calls, at least one of which he picked up on, also using a racial slur.

That caller also encouraged him to drop out of the mayoral race or be exposed for alleged indiscretions.

Jackson said he's not scared and will not drop out of the race.

Instead, he called for the community to focus on the real issues.

"Citizens are hurting in this city. And here we are reducing ourselves to this type of caricature.

"This is unacceptable in 2018 and at any point in this history of the country."

Lynda Gramling, past state president of United Daughters of the Confederacy, reached out to KSLA News 12 and said her organization denounces the flyer and any form of racism. Gramling said the UDC even will offer to help investigate.

Jackson said he is reporting the incident to Louisiana State Police and possibly the FBI.

Fellow Shreveport mayoral candidate Lee Savage also expressed support for Jackson, saying his thoughts and prayers are with him.

"There is no place for any racially charged issues in our election, in our world, in our society today. One of the things we are trying to do is unite Shreveport. It's embarrassing and disgusting to me."

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