Letter to Barrington residents: Remove Biden and BLM signs

Police locate letter’s author; she had earlier received anti-Trump letters

By Josh Bickford
Posted 1/26/21

Candace Breen was having a wonderful day.

The Barrington resident was watching President Biden’s inauguration on television last Wednesday when she heard the mail truck pull in front of her …

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Letter to Barrington residents: Remove Biden and BLM signs

Police locate letter’s author; she had earlier received anti-Trump letters

Posted

Candace Breen was having a wonderful day.

The Barrington resident was watching President Biden’s inauguration on television last Wednesday when she heard the mail truck pull in front of her house.

A few minutes later she retrieved her mail, pausing at an envelope that was addressed “Neighbor.” She opened it and was shocked by what she found. The letter offered a harsh rant about the President Joe Biden and Democrats, and then demanded that Ms. Breen remove the Black Lives Matter flags from her property.

“I was so surprised,” said Ms. Breen, who has lived in town since 2012. “That’s really bold. I was offended. I was insulted.”

Ms. Breen said the letter came from a neighbor — “The person knows full-well I have children” — and has left her feeling very unsettled. She has not been able to sleep and finds that every noise she hears leaves her wondering if someone is vandalizing her home.

“It was very hurtful,” Ms. Breen said of the letter. “They don’t know what it’s like to feel unwelcome… that you don’t belong.”

Barrington Police Chief Dino DeCrescenzo said his department has identified the person who sent the letter to Ms. Breen. The chief said Ms. Breen was not the only resident to receive the letter.

During an interview on Monday morning, Jan. 25, Chief DeCrescenzo said that the common denominator for those who received the letter appears to be that each resident had a Biden lawn sign in their yard. The chief said the other residents who received the letter were not African Americans.

After an initial review of the letters by the police department, Chief DeCrescenzo said it did not appear that the letters violated any laws.

“It’s nothing threatening,” Chief DeCrescenzo said. “It’s political propaganda.”

He later added that he can understand how Ms. Breen or anyone else could feel threatened by receiving a letter of this nature. But from a legal standpoint, the department has not identified any violation of the law regarding the letter.

"Obviously it's offensive to her... Receiving letters like this at home, that's always disturbing," Chief DeCrescenzo said. "I wish no letters were sent."

Ms. Breen provided a copy of the letter to the Barrington Times. It included a wide range of comments including: “Please remove your Biden propaganda… It saddens me that so many of my fellow Americans are blind to the truth and think and act exactly like the main stream media tells them. Please remove your black lives matter Marxist anti-American paraphernalia as well. The agency black lives matter has taken in billions and billions of dollars and never helped one black person and yet you bow down to this group this is an embarrassment to this country… Democrats are disgusting filthy Americans you should pray for forgiveness and discernment…”

The police department has forwarded the letters to the town’s prosecuting attorney, Louis Pulner, who will conduct an additional review.

Chief DeCrescenzo said the person who sent the letters to Ms. Breen and others had also received multiple letters herself, each one politically oriented and negative toward former President Trump. It was not clear if police have identified who sent the anti-Trump letters to that resident.

Chief DeCrescenzo said those letters have also been forwarded to Mr. Pulner for review. 

Racist incidents

Ms. Breen said she and her family have experienced racism in town before this recent incident — “micro aggressions” she said. But this letter was the first time racism invaded her house, she said.

Ms. Breen said her home has always been a sanctuary from the racism of the world, a place where she and her family could feel safe. But that is not the case anymore.

She said people are entitled to have their own opinions, but they are “not allowed to go into someone’s personal space and impose that opinion onto them.”

On Saturday, four days after Ms. Breen received the letter, nearly 100 Barrington residents attended a rally on the town hall lawn. Barrington Town Council member Jacob Brier helped organize the event, and wanted it to serve as a show of support for Ms. Breen and her family.

“It was so touching,” Ms. Breen said of Saturday’s rally. “The support and love we’ve received from our community have helped us to feel less afraid.”

Mr. Brier said it is important for people to stand up and show that they will not condone hateful actions. He said he hopes Saturday’s rally sends a clear message: “That hate has no home in Barrington…”

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