Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is directing state police to investigate the distribution of fliers expressing white supremacist views that were found earlier this week in the driveways of more than a dozen homes in Lewiston.
"These messages contradict all that we stand for as New Yorkers," Cuomo said in a statement issued Saturday. " I am directing the State Police to work with local law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation to find those responsible for distributing these repugnant fliers and determine whether this act is connected to any bias-related incident in the state."
The fliers were distributed sometime between late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. They were found at properties on Mohawk Street, Chicora Road and Lower River Road in the town, he said.
Police in Lewiston are also investigating the incident to determine who distributed the fliers, although Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said the distribution of the documents does not raise to the level of a hate crime.
"The only issue that we would have at this point would be the distribution of them," Previte added. "Technically, it would be a littering violation, according to the code in the village and the town. I mean, you can't just throw stuff in people's driveways."
There were three different fliers that all addressed topics related to white supremacy, including "black on white crime," illegal immigration and "white lives matter." Some of the fliers included a website address and encouraged white people to band together and organize local meetings. There was a hashtag on the bottom of one form of the fliers for a hashtag promoted by a white nationalist group.