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Police: News station receives hate mail involving racist art and music

By Staff | Apr 10, 2009

Southwest Florida news station WFTX-TV “Fox 4 Now” received a hate mail package Wednesday afternoon, though no disgruntled viewers were to blame.
The package contained racist artwork, music and writing from an unknown individual seeking promotional publicity from the station.
The Fox broadcast station, located at 621 S.W. Pine Island Road, turned the package over to Cape Coral police, who continued to investigate the incident Thursday night.
Included in the package were a three-page letter explaining “that the writer was not happy with Black citizens integration and also that he is an artist that wants to market Klan type art”; a drawing of a woman holding a meat cleaver and wearing a KKK outfit; and a music CD “encouraging white supremacy,” according to a police report.
“His intent was that we’d put him on air,” said station marketing director Brent Struense of the sender. “The bottom line is, it is not our position, we do not share the position of this correspondence, and we’re not going to publicize it.”
The package’s sender identified himself as a Klan artist named Richard M. Peak of Fort Myers, though neither the Cape police nor the Lee County Sheriff’s Office had any records of the name in their databases, the police report states.
“We get quite a few strange type correspondences from viewers,” Struense said. “This is the first time since Journal Broadcast Group has owned this station that we’ve seen anything of this nature.
“Anything that would be of that type of nature, yes, we would turn it over to the police,” he added.
Cape police are actively investigating the incident, though it is unclear what legal action would be taken if the individual who sent the package was found, city spokesperson Connie Barron said Thursday.
However, Fox employees took the correct course of action in alerting police, she said.
Police encourage any citizen or local business who is sent these types of materials to contact the Cape Coral Police Department.
“If anyone receives any mail or messages that causes them to feel threatened in any way shape or form, they should always contact the police department whether it turns out to be something or not,” Barron said.
The Fox broadcast station had never previously received mail from anyone named Richard Peak or a similar name, police reports state.