Investigation of anti-Muslim hate crime in Westbrook ends with no answers
Press Herald - 01/03/2017
If the police do find the source of the notes, the case will not be clear-cut.
The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech – even hate speech. Conviction for a hate crime requires direct action or targeting.
“There are some who might see it as a hate crime,” said Jack Levin, co-director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University. “Others may see it as protected speech.”
Identifying the perpetrator can also be challenging.
These crimes are often anonymous – offensive graffiti, a rock thrown through a window, notes like the ones at Westbrook Pointe. Even when the incident involves face-to-face contact, the victim often does not know the other person or people involved.