White supremacist fliers have been distributed in a second Western New York community, upsetting residents and officials for the second time in two weeks.
Fliers with messages including "White Lives Matter" and signed by a group called the Aryan Renaissance Society were found in the area Woodstream Meadows subdivision on Grand Island on Wednesday night.
Two weeks ago, similar fliers were found in Lewiston. In both cases, the fliers were found inside plastic bags and dropped in driveways.
In the Lewiston case, Horace Scott Lacy, a man identified by the Anti-Defamation League as a member of a white supremacist group, admitted to distributing the material. But authorities said they don't know if Lacy was behind the fliers left on Grand Island. He could not be reached for comment.
Lacy, who also admitted distributing the fliers to several local television stations, has told police he recently moved from Texas to a Niagara Falls address, which he declined to provide to them, Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said.
The Anti-Defamation League identifies Lacy on its website as a member of the Aryan Renaissance Society, a Texas-based white supremacist group that has promoted the "White Lives Matter" message. Lacy also has reportedly admitted to being a member of the Aryan Circle Prison Gang, according to a 2007 report by the Houston Chronicle. The Anti-Defamation League said Lacy was still as member of the gang as of late 2009.
Lacy was seen at a rally supporting President Trump in Buffalo on Saturday handing out what's been described as racist fliers, according to Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner.
Grand Island Supervisor Nathan McMurray said the neighborhood where the material was found Wednesday is a diverse one and many residents were embarrassed to find it there. The situation also scared some people who live there.
"This is not who we are," McMurray said. "We are a welcoming community, we are a community that's moving forward and we're proud of the diversity that we have on the island."
Neil Gallagher said he found the fliers in driveways on Grand Island during a walk with his family. He picked up about two dozen and threw them in the trash.
"I grabbed what I could and tossed it," he said.
McMurray said he did not know the identity of the man who was seen distributing the fliers on Grand Island.
McMurray said he was speaking publicly about it in order to prevent this type of behavior from becoming normalized. He said he looked into the apparent source of the material and was disturbed by what he found.
"This group is just a rebranding of traditional racism, literal neo-Nazism," McMurray said.
Grand Island police are aware of the matter, the supervisor said.
Previte said his Lewiston department interviewed Lacy about the fliers on March 26.
After Lewiston police determined nothing in the messages in the fliers was illegal, they treated Lacy like they would anyone else found to violate Village of Lewiston codes regarding littering, the police chief said. Lacy was told not to repeat such behavior, otherwise he would be charged, Previte said.
Lacy indicated he would comply and no similar fliers have been found in Lewiston since, the chief said.