A Black family was told to leave their Long Island, N.Y. neighborhood in a racist letter that police are investigating as a hate crime.
Ronica Copes received the handwritten envelope addressed to “African-American family” with the word “Community” as the sender, last week. While the family has lived in the house in Linderhurst for a couple years, the letter notes that the area is more than 80 percent White. “YOU DON'T BELONG HERE!!!” the letter reads in call caps. “PLEASE LEAVE LINDENHURST AS SOON AS YOU CAN, IT WILL BE BETTER FOR ALL OF US."
Copes was taken aback by the letter at first. “I had to kind of read it more than once for it to set in,” she told Pix 11 News. “I was very disappointed, frustrated, angry, afraid… not knowing who it’s coming from. “
The letter went viral after Copes posted it to Facebook, catching the attention of county executive Steven Bellone. “To the coward who committed a hate crime against an innocent family in Lindenhurst — There is no place for intolerance in Suffolk County,” he said in a statement Friday (May 22). “I know the Suffolk County Police Department will do everything possible to solve this hate crime, out you and see you punished.”
Bellone added, “I stand together with all Lindenhurst residents who decry this act of hatred. This community and all of Suffolk County are better than that.”
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(Photo: Ronica Copes via Facebook)