ORLANDO, Fla. – Members of a neo-Nazi group that held weekend demonstrations in Orlando displayed signs indicating they belonged to the National Socialist Movement, or NSM, a Kissimmee-based organization that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The NSM, which considers itself “America’s premier white civil rights organization”, believes in “defending the rights of White European people” and “the promotion of White racial separation,” according to the group’s website.
While the organization claims its membership has surged in recent years, the Anti-Defamation League believes NSM’s numbers have been declining, with core membership falling to one or two dozen.
The group’s leader, Burt Colucci, is originally from Lakeland, records show.
Police in Chandler, Arizona arrested Colucci in April after they say he threatened a group of Black men with a gun outside of a hotel.
“I’m the leader of the largest neo-Nazi organization in America,” Colucci can be heard saying in a cell phone video captured by a witness. “I’m an (expletive) Nazi and I’m (expletive) proud of it.”
Colucci, 45, admitted to displaying a gun but denied aiming it at people, video captured by police officers’ body-worn cameras show.
“He went back to the vehicle, and it looked like he was going to pull out a gun. I never saw the gun, but I had mine,” Colucci told police. “I didn’t point it at anybody. No, nothing like that.”
After an independent witness reportedly corroborated the victim’s account, police arrested Colucci. He was later released from jail on a $7,500 bond.
An Arizona grand jury indicted Colucci on three counts of disorderly conduct earlier this month, court records show. One of the charges, which involves recklessly handling or displaying a deadly weapon, is a felony.
After News 6 attempted to contact Colucci at a phone number listed on the NSM website, someone sent a text message with an antisemitic remark that questioned the accuracy of News 6′s reporting.
“Therefore I have no further comment,” the text message read.