INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A Missouri group connected to the militia movement has a new home on Kansas City-area highways. The Original Three Percenters of Missouri have agreed to clean up litter along the I-470 and I-70 Interchange.
In return they received several Missouri Department of Transportation recognition signs with the group’s name on them on the highway and ramps which will be passed by an estimated 100,000 vehicles per day. Anti-hate groups say three percenters are extremists connected to terror plots and attacks.
Since 1987, about 5,300 groups have adopted 6,400 miles of Missouri highways.
“I think it’s a great program because there’s a lot of great organizations doing it between schools and businesses,” Barry Higgins said.
A viewer contacted FOX4 about one of the newest such groups that now have several signs near Bass Pro Shop, Independence Center and Cable Dahmer Arena. Some people we spoke with said they’d seen the signs for The Original Three Percenters of Missouri, but didn’t who they were.
The Anti-Defamation League said they know them well. The anti hate organization tracks extremists groups.
‘It’s not nice to see a militia active in your community or even an ideology associated with militia movements. That would be unsettling to me if it was my neighborhood,” ADL Heartland Regional Director Jordan Kadosh said.
FOX4 reached out to MoDOT which said inclusion in the Adopt a Highway Program is protected by the First Amendment in a 1999 Supreme Court ruling based on the KKK’s efforts to adopt a highway St. Louis area.
According to MoDOT eligibility rules: Organizations and enterprises with any program participants who have been convicted of, or pled guilty a violent criminal activity can’t adopt a highway within 10 years of the end of incarceration or probation. The ADL couldn’t speak specifically to Missouri’s group who don’t seem to have a website or contact info, but they have tracked a long list since 2008 of three percenter arrests to include a bomb plot of Muslims in Garden City, Kansas.
“There is a track record of criminal activity ranging from simple weapons charges all the way to terror plots and attacks,” Kadosh said.
Some people we spoke with said they wish they hadn’t learned more about the organization. Now they are left to mull their involvement in Missouri’s Adopt-a-Highway program.
“You may not agree with what they do. It is free speech. I suppose they can help clean up things. I guess that’s a good thing, but yeah that’s a hard one.”
Though the KKK won its bid to adopt a Missouri highway in the Supreme Court, they were kicked out of the program shortly after. MoDOT said at the time the Klan failed to ever pick up a single piece of litter as required by the program.
📲 Download the FOX4 News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for FOX4 email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on fox4kc.com for Kansas City and all of Kansas and Missouri.