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Distribution of "White lives matter" fliers not considered a hate crime

Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 18:05:16-04

Scott Lacy is standing by his decision to distribute, what some consider racist, fliers in the village of Lewiston last week. “That's people’s right to express their views. That's why we have free speech in this country, and that's exactly what I was doing.”

We first caught up with Lacy on Sunday. His interview went viral on our 7 Eyewitness News Facebook page. Each of the posts generated hundreds of comments and thousands of views.

The fliers promote the white lives matter movement and condemn illegal immigration, and according to Lacy, none encourage violence, or white supremacy. “The reason that we do what we do is basically raise awareness and let people know that there are people like us willing to stand up and fight for our rights, our beliefs, our culture, our heritage, our history.”

So are the fliers considered a hate crime? Penny Wolfgang is a retired New York State Supreme Court Judge. She said he's protected under the First Amendment. “A person would have to first commit the crime such as assault, or robbery, or a homicide. Then, an aggravating factor might be the motive and the motive might be hate.”

Still, Governor Cuomo has directed state police to assist Lewiston police in this investigation. According to the Lewiston police chief, it remains an open case. But, Lacy won't likely face any charges.

So, while his actions aren't criminal, they're still concerning in certain circles.

“Do you consider yourself racist?” asked reporter, Ali Touhey.
“It depends on your definition of racist. I consider myself racist but not because I have hatred toward other people. It's because I love my own people.”