LINDENHURST, N.Y. — An African-American family in New York reportedly received a racist letter asking them to move, and now the message is being investigated as a hate crime.
According to WABC, the Lindenurst, N.Y., family got the anonymous letter claiming their town was “84 percent white” and “you don’t belong here.”
“The anger was there, the hurt was there, and then, of course, fear,” Darcell Copes, who received the letter, told the station.
“Please leave Lindenhurst as soon as you can it will be better for all of us,” the letter reportedly read. “Find the town where there are more people like you.”
Copes told WABC her daughter first noticed the letter in the mail and then called her at work.
The mother said they posted the message to Facebook and then called the police.
Detectives analyzed the letter for fingerprints and went door to door to interview neighbors about the letter, WABC reported. The Suffolk County Hate Crime Unit in New York also joined in on the investigation.
According to WABC, county executive Steve Bellone released a statement calling the person who wrote the letter a “coward who committed a hate crime against an innocent family.”
“There is no place for intolerance in Suffolk County. I know the Suffolk County Police Department will do everything possible to solve this hate crime, out you and see you punished,” the statement reportedly read.
As for Copes, she told the station she had a message for the letter’s sender.
“Sometimes you have a preconceived idea of how a person is just because you don’t know them. You don’t know how they live, you don’t know what they believe,” Copes told WABC. “I’ll continue to pray for you and you need to get out and meet people.”
Village officials also released a statement saying they planned to “stand in solidarity” with the family, WABC reported.