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White supremacist flyer circulating Niagara County ahead of Peach Festival

Posted at 9:37 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 17:50:51-04

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Lewiston Police Chief says his department has received more than a dozen calls about a letter being sent to homes that is loaded with overt white nationalist words and phrases.

“We are not sure of where those are coming from," said Chief Frank Previte.

The letter, which 7 Eyewitness News is choosing not to show, invites people to join the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at the 62nd annual Peach Festival in Lewiston.

"Feel free to approach our members, who will be making their presence known," the flyer says.

Chief Previte says because the letter does not incite violence, the authors of the flyer are covered by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

"We'll collect information and do our due dilligence," said Previte.

Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour tells 7 Eyewitness News that the flyer has also been reported in the Town of Wilson.

Previte said he will have a meeting with officers ahead of the Peach Festival to make them aware of what has been circulating.

He said the flyer was originally mailed from a Rochester, N.Y. post mark.

Previte is confident in the level of security measures that he and other public safety jurisdictions have already established for the Peach Festival.

Kiwanis of Lewiston, who run the Peach Festival, issued the following statement regarding the flyers Wednesday:

Police authorities from the Town of Lewiston have made the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston aware of a flyer that was recently distributed, similar to ones sent out prior to other events in Lewiston and surrounding communities, containing vile and hateful rhetoric. The Kiwanis Club of Lewiston have been assured the situation is being monitored by area police and as always the Niagara County Peach Festival will maintain a safe and family oriented atmosphere for attendees.
Kiwanis of Lewiston President Marty Pauly