hamptons local events, express news group

Story - News

Apr 29, 2015 12:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

KKK Member Wants Trial To Fight Handbill Distribution Charge

Apr 29, 2015 12:46 PM

A Ku Klux Klan affiliate accused of illegally posting recruitment fliers on an ATM in Hampton Bays in March said he’s prepared to take the matter to trial.

Douglas Munker, 33, of Hampton Bays rejected a plea deal on Friday afternoon in Southampton Town Justice Court that would have let him off with a $150 littering ticket. Now, he faces fines of up to $5,000 or 30 days in jail.

“I’m not considering any plea deal,” Mr. Munker said in a phone interview on Wednesday morning. “I feel I did nothing wrong and broke no law; nobody’s hurt, nobody was bleeding. That punishment does not fit the crime.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Munker was charged with distributing a handbill, a town code violation, for posting KKK recruitment fliers on an ATM at the Capital One Bank on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays. The fliers displayed anti-immigration and anti-gay messages.

Similar fliers have popped up on driveways and taped to mailboxes in Hampton Bays on several instances since August. Mr. Munker said he has been distributing recruitment fliers for the past two months.

Mr. Munker maintains that taping the handbills to the ATM should be considered protected free speech under the First Amendment. He feels he was unlawfully interrogated and charged.

In his court appearance on Friday, Mr. Munker was given a one-month adjournment, until May 22, so he could procure an 18b attorney—a private lawyer who handles court-appointed cases. He said he has called more than 30 private attorneys, from Manhattan to the East End, and that none have been willing to take his case.

Mr. Munker said he feels discriminated against because he is a member of the KKK. He also said he does not want a public defender because he’s had bad experiences with them in the past.

“I have a big conflict of interest with Legal Aid,” he said. “I don’t feel like I get the proper representation from them, I feel they’re more on the prosecutor’s side than mine.

“They don’t care if they win or lose,” he continued. “They get paid either way.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on May 1, 15 7:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
As reported in the Press, Mr. Munker is right.

The 1st amendment states explicitly that, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech". Based on the reported facts of this case, that is clearly what the "no handbills" and "no littering" ordinances are doing here. In addition, these laws have obviously been selectively applied to Mr. Munker. How many times have all of been approached on the street by solicitors distributing advertising or by members of religious sects ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 1, 15 9:11 AM
1 member liked this comment