UR senior Chris Hodgman was cited by police yesterday after officers said he was behind a rash of white nationalist fliers and stickers placed around Brighton last fall.
The 23-year-old was cited for violating town code and not for the fliers’ content, according to police. The violation came from placing the fliers on public structures. Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson said in a press conference that Hodgman was identified through pulling fingerprints from adhesive material on several fliers.
Hodgman’s violation incurs a $250 fine and possibly 15 days in jail, according to Henderson.
The logo of alt-right group Identity Evropa was found on several stickers scattered around Brighton in October. Another sticker contained the smiling likeness of Adolf Hitler. Brighton has the highest number of Jewish households in Monroe County.
Hodgman, from Bethesda, Maryland, is former president of campus group College Republicans. The club’s current president, senior Jose Fernandez, denounced the actions. “I want to be as clear as possible: Our entire chapter condemns as forcefully as possible racism and prejudice of any form,” Fernandez said in a statement to 13WHAM.
University President Richard Feldman and University Spokesperson Sara Miller both heavily condemned the act. In an email to the UR community, Feldman said the news “sadden, disappoints, and frightens” him.
“In our democracy, all people are permitted to hold and express their views,” Feldman said. “This does not mean that people are permitted to harass, intimidate, threaten or harm. Nor does this mean that we cannot call out hateful and bigoted views for what they are.”
Several hate or bias-related incidents have occurred at the University this year. In the fall, a Blue and Silver Line bus driver was removed for placing fliers disparaging the Chinese community on campus. Shortly after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh this past October, a swastika was found in an elevator at Eastman. A week later, anti-semitic fliers were found in a printer at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies. An email sent to students and staff at the Institute called the occurrence “one example of a wider pattern of such incidents” at the River Campus and Eastman.
Hodgman, who has hired an attorney, must appear in Brighton Town Court on March 27.