Gary Crusader staff report
It’s a flyer that has confederate flags and says the husband of a judicial candidate compares Black children to animals if they voted for President Barack Obama. Now, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich is contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to request an investigation into an inflammatory campaign flyer, which officials believe were distributed this week in Gary.
The flyer pertains to the campaign of Marissa McDermott, who is a candidate against Lake Circuit Court Judge George Paras in the May Democratic primary election. McDermott is the wife of Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott. The flyer depicts Mayor McDermott between two confederate flags and states that McDermott is a racist, works against the City of Gary, and asks voters to not support his wife’s candidacy for judge. Buncich says Judge Paras had no involvement with preparation and distribution of the flyer and believes the flyer was distributed to discredit him as Sheriff and Judge Paras.
Buncich says residents of Gary should not be subjected to campaign tactics of racial hatred. “There is no place in our nation for racial hatred,” Buncich stated. He will request the FBI to investigate to determine the people involved in preparation and distribution of the flyer and determine whether criminal prosecution for violation of Federal Civil Rights laws is warranted. “We will get to the bottom of this prejudice-motivated conduct.”
Buncich says that hate crimes and those who preach hatred and intolerance plant the seeds of terrorism here in our country.
Buncich states that Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson supports the plan to request an FBI investigation and is demanding an explanation from McDermott.
In a letter to Buncich, Freeman-Wilson expressed her support for an FBI investigation.
“As long time leaders in the city of Gary, we are familiar with Sheriff John Buncich and Lake County Circuit Judge George Paras,” Freeman-Wilson wrote. “There is nothing about the character and history of these men that would lead us to conclude that they would in any way be involved with the distribution of a document that contains the confederate flag, given the negative connotation that it has in the African-American community. We are pleased that the Sheriff has called for an investigation and would urge the FBI to scrutinize all undocumented campaign literature distributed during this election cycle.
In her letter, Freeman-Wilson reminded residents that McDermott objected to Gary school students being taken to Lake County to vote for the first time. She said He also objected to Gary’s efforts to move the casino onto 80/94 and hired a lobbyist in Indianapolis to make it happen. McDermott also capitalized on the activities of a clearly deranged serial killer to pit the Gary Police Department ag-ainst the Hammond Police Department when it would have been more appropriate for the departments and communities to work together to solve the crimes and avenge the deaths of these women.