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Threatening and racist letter found in former mayoral candidate’s mailbox in Steuben

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Police in Wayland are investigating a potential hate crime after Eric Williams, a former mayoral candidate, reported receiving a racially charged and threatening letter containing a graphic image of the Ku Klux Klan. Williams, who has lived in the town his entire life, described the letter as containing racial slurs and a hateful message that evoked painful memories of past experiences with racism.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Despite his love for the community, Williams has faced racism throughout his life, including incidents in middle school involving racial slurs and derogatory imagery. More recently, he has reported incidents he believes are race-related, such as bullet holes in his trailer and a cross drawing above his door.

The latest incident has heightened Williams’ concerns for the safety of his children. He hopes not only for the perpetrator to be caught but also to change people’s perspectives on race. Williams invites those with racial prejudice to speak with him, hoping to show them a different viewpoint.

Wayland police have confirmed receiving Williams’ complaint and are currently interviewing neighbors and collecting video footage to help identify the person responsible for the incidents. The letter has been handed over to the police, who are checking it for fingerprints, and the investigation remains ongoing.