An incident involving a Brockport teen has multiple flash points: threats of violence, racism, and social media. And they've come together in a confusing and heated series of events.
Earlier this month, Greece police charged Nicholas Robare, 18, with aggravated harassment. Robare, who is white, allegedly posted a disturbing video to the Facebook page belonging to Alex Hare, 16, of Brockport.
The video, which shows a hoodie being burned, contains racial slurs directed at Hare, who is African American. Though Robare was the only person charged with a crime, the voices of two males and one female can be heard on the video.
"This is the remains of your hoodie, you fucking nigger," one of the voices says.
Hare is taunted for not meeting to fight.
"Next time it won't be a hoodie," a voice says. "Next time it will be your fucking face."
The racial slurs are offensive, but that alone doesn't constitute a crime, says Captain Patrick Phelan, a spokesperson for the Greece Police Department.
Threatening or harassing someone through electronic media is criminal, however, Phelan says
Robare will appear in court on Thursday, January 3. If convicted, he faces a maximum charge of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Michelle Hare, Alex's mother, called the events surrounding the video a learning opportunity.
The Hares have repeatedly said they only want a sincere apology from the individuals responsible for the video. Michelle Hare said she hopes the video's participants understand that they hurt unintended targets, too.
Supported by some local activists, the Hares recently held a press conference condemning the video. And a march was staged that began at Barnard Park in Greece and ended in front of Robare's home.
The marchers drew a few onlookers out of their homes. One man said he hadn't seen the video, but he called the march a one-way conversation.