Police investigating racist, threat-filled letter sent to Black Butler County family

A Black West Chester couple said they received a letter that threatened them if they did not remove "Biden-Harris" and "Black Lives Matter" signs from their front lawn.
A Black West Chester couple said they received a letter that threatened them if they did not remove "Biden-Harris" and "Black Lives Matter" signs from their front lawn.

Police in Butler County’s West Chester Twp. are investigating a complaint by a family that they received a letter filled with racial slurs and and threats for them to take down yard signs backing Joe Biden and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“You think it’s about time to take down those signs?” the letter states, township resident Brian Harlan said Sunday. “If not, we’ll do it for ya ... (racial epithet). You might think twice, and think quickly... you ain’t got much time here, so if you don’t take that (expletive) down in a hurry we’ll be aiming at your house, your cars and YOU!!!”

Harlan and his wife Mia have two signs in front of their West Chester Twp. home supporting Joe Biden and a flag mounted to a sign with the message ‘Black Lives Matter.’

The letter was signed “A group of us just a few blocks away.”

Brian Harlen, 46, in an interview Sunday said the letter arrived in an envelope with “BLM SUCKS” scrawled across on the back and no return address on either side.

“I was angry and, if I’m being honest, I was shocked, too, that someone would mail that,” Harlen said. “I’m not shocked behind the sentiment because I think here, as of late, some of the racial animus, the openly racist things that are occurring, has kind of numbed us to the shock of all of the overt racism, but I think I was taken back by the idea that somebody would go to the length of writing a letter and mailing it.”

West Chester Police Department took the letter as evidence. Barb Wilson, the township’s spokeswoman, said a police report could not be made available until Monday.

“The threat is being taken seriously and there is an active investigation,” Wilson told this news outlet.

Harlen said he and his wife, who are Black, purchased their home in the township in 2009, and have occasionally had a racial epithet hurled at them from someone in a vehicle, but “nothing as deliberate or thought out” as a letter or threats against their property or themselves.

He said he and his wife have concerns about their grandchildren, who visit often.

“When he says (in the letter) ‘a few blocks away,’ that could be behind us, in front of us, on the side of us,” Harlen said.

He said neighbors still show support for President Donald Trump via signs, flags and other displays, and that he and his wife have a right to express their political views without receiving threats.

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