Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force investigating racist flyers
Diane Pineiro-Zucker reports in the Daily Freeman that the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating the racist, white supremacist flyers left in “a handful” of River Road mailboxes earlier this week. Detectives “have yet to classify (the flyers) or put a label on it. That’s why we’re working with the (FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force) and the FBI to see if this is a hate group,” said Lt. Joseph Sciutto on Oct. 6. He claimed the incident was “isolated” with the racist literature put in just five mailboxes. But around the same time racist literature was also thrown on to porches and lawns in Chatham in Columbia County. The Albany Times Union reported that the flyers in Chatham and in Ulster County were distributed by White Lives Matter New York and the Chatham notices said, “White New Yorkers take notice!” and “The WLM NY Colonial Guard is here to stand for you! Are you ready to join them in Activism and earn YOUR patch?” The Southern Poverty Law Center defines the group as an extremist neo-Nazi movement that sprung up in response to Black Lives Matter. Since 2021, the White Lives Matter flyers have been spotted in several locations around Columbia and Greene counties, according to Hate-Watch Report, which tracks the racist groups locally. White Lives Matter also held a rally in Woodstock in February, where about a dozen white supremacists turned up on the village green. And on the same day in May of a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket White Lives Matter hung a banner above Interstate 90 in Chatham. Ulster County Deputy County Executive Chris Kelly issued a statement this week saying, “There is no place in Ulster County for white supremacy and racially- or ethnically-motivated extremism; Ulster County government will not tolerate hate in our community.” Sam Hodge, chair of the Columbia County Democrats. released a statement after the Chatham incident, saying, “The white supremacists peddling this disgusting and vile hate speech do not represent our community. Anonymously throwing sandwich bags with hateful propaganda is cowardly. We won’t be intimidated."