Barrington woman receives hateful letter demanding she take down her Black Lives Matter flag

East Bay

BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Barrington woman is speaking out after receiving a hateful letter in the mail.

Candace Breen has lived in Barrington since 2012, and she said this is the first time she’s ever received a letter degrading her support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Remove your Black Lives Matter flag,” the letter reads, later referring to the flag as “anti-American paraphernalia.”

Breen said the letter also blamed the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I feel unsafe that someone feels empowered to send me, personally, through the mail, with a stamp and post marked and everything, something that I find hateful,” she said.

Breen contacted the Barrington Police Department immediately after she received the letter. Barrington Police Chief Dino DeCrescenzo told 12 News earlier this week that the letter is being reviewed as part of an investigation.

Breen said the source of the letter was discovered, but she did not want to identify them publicly.

Barrington Town Council member Jacob Brier expressed concern over the letter, and said it’s important to him that everyone in his community feel welcome and respected.

“Racial justice is not and should not be a political issue,” he said.

The Barrington Town Council met earlier this week to discuss the possibility of having a standing committee focused solely on diversity.

Council members met this week to discuss the possibility of having a standing committee focused on diversity.

That outreach is important to Breen, who said she’s received several messages of support in response to the letter. She’s shown each positive response to her son and daughter, to prove to them that love is more powerful than hate.

“I feel that there are good people out there who are not offended by the color of my skin,” Breen said.

The town has organized a socially-distanced candle light vigil to support victims of hate crimes. It will take place Saturday from 4:30-5 p.m. in front of Barrington Town Hall.

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