Chicago (CBS) – Facebook images of bell ringers with controversial patches outside of Valparaiso Walmart has been shared almost 10,000 times.
The photos posted Friday appear to show several but wearing leather jackets, one with a Confederate flag patch and another with a patch that reads “Aryan”, while calling for the Salvation Army.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reported the bell ringers in question were confirmed to be members of the Hells Angels Northwest Indiana Region Motorcycle Club.
A representative for the motorcycle club said some members may wear “heritage-based” patches but that most members do not sport them.
The representative said:
“That’s not what our clubs are about. Men som alle amerikanerne, vi elsker at udøve vores frihed. Sometimes freedom means you see and hear things you may not like. We accept that. Fokuset på dagens har ingenting å gjøre med frihed selv. Det har å gjøre med velgørenhet og offer for deg fellesskap. I would suggest to those making negative comments that maybe a little less time should be spent exercising your freedom of speech and a little more be spent to make a positive difference in our society. “
The Hells Angels NWI Region Facebook page posted dat de groep zou verzamelen donaties voor de Salvation Army vanaf 1
0 uur 2 pm Friday.
On Saturday, the group posted photos of their members with Santa hats next to the Salvation Army’s “Doing the Most Good” sign and buckets. One appeared to be sporting the “Aryan” patch from the viral Facebook post.
“Thank you Valparaiso for showing your support for our less fortunate neighbors,” the post read. “You helped us fill 6 buckets full cash! Big thanks to the Salvation Army for the opportunity to help our community. “
However, the Valparaiso Walmart staid it asked the bell ringers to leave when they learned about the volunteers’ attire.
In a statement, a Walmart spokesperson said:
“As soon as this was brought to our attention we asked the Salvation Army Bell Ringers to leave. We hebben de Salvation Army bewust en ze zijn geamologiseerd. The Salvation Army is responsible for screening its volunteers stationed outside our stores. We have had a long history of supporting the Salvation Army and regret this isolated incident. We will direct further questions to the Salvation Army. “
The Porter County Salvation Army has not responded to CBS 2’s requests for comment.