Officials: Racist letter urged family to move

The flier says Lindenhurst is 84 percent white and the family does not belong there and should leave.

The flier says Lindenhurst is 84 percent white and the family does not belong there and should leave. (5/22/15)

LINDENHURST - A Lindenhurst family was shocked to find a racist letter in their mailbox that urged them to move to a new neighborhood because they "don't belong."

Ronica Copes says the letter was mailed to her home this week. She and her family, who are African-American, have lived on Davenport Street in Lindenhurst for nearly two years.

The letter, typed on a single piece of paper in all capital letters, reads, "Attn: African-American family. This is coming from Lindenhurst community. Lindenhurst is 84 percent white population. You don't belong here!"

The letter continued, "Please leave Lindenhurst as soon as you can. It will be better for all of us. Find the town where there are more people like you. Sorry if this is rude, but it's the truth."

Copes says she found the letter disturbing. "I was surprised, shocked," she says. "At first I kind of chuckled, because I was like, 'This can't be serious, is this a chain letter?'"

Copes adds that it's unnerving because her family doesn't know who sent the letter. "You don't know who feels what way," she says. "You don't know if it's someone in a car, or if you have to watch your back behind you."

Babylon town officials have publicly condemned the letter. A statement issued by the town reads in part, "The best way to fight bias is with solidarity, and we stand with all of our residents in declaring that there is no place for this type of intolerance and hatred in the village of Lindenhurst, the town of Babylon, or anywhere in our community."

Suffolk County's Hate Crimes Unit is investigating the incident. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.


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