“You don’t belong here,” Family receives hateful message asking them to move out of community

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LINDENHURST, N.Y. (WABC) – Police in New York are investigating a possible hate crime.

An African-American family says they received a letter saying, “Lindenhurst is 84 percent white population, you don’t belong here.”

“The anger was there, the hurt was there, and then, of course, fear,” Darcell Copes told WABC.

It shattered the sense of peace Copes and her children thought they found in the Long Island community of Lindenhurst.

“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,” the letter read.

Copes said her daughter first noticed the strange letter in the mail Thursday and frantically called her at work.

The family also posted the message on Facebook and called the police, asking for help and support.

“There have never been any incidents for us, no problems, no quarrels with anyone, so as I said, we are really taken aback because we have no idea where this is coming from,” said Copes.

The original letter has been sent off for fingerprinting and the Suffolk County Hate Crime Unit is also involved in the case.

While the letter was hurtful, Copes said support from others has been overwhelming.

“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. I would just like to say that I’ll continue to pray for you and you need to get out and meet people,” Copes said, addressing whoever wrote the letter.

In a written statement, Lindenhurst Village officials say they “stand in solidarity with residents in declaring there no room for intolerance or hatred in this community.”

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