Police Chief James Mcintyre, Town Administrator Dennis Sheehan and Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Raymie Parker wish to provide the following statements regarding an anonymous letter a resident received in response to signs on her lawn.
On Thursday, July 16, a resident notified the Stoneham Police Department about an anonymous letter she received criticizing her placement of signs supporting Black Lives Matter in her yard.
“Last evening, we were made aware of an anonymous letter a local resident received, ridiculing her for placing Black Lives Matter and similar signs in her yard,” Chief McIntyre said. “I was appalled by the contents of this letter, and want to make clear that this type of behavior is uncalled for and has no place in our community.”
“Over the past few weeks, the Town has hosted a number of events highlighting the need for change in our society and I have been encouraged by the wide-spread community support for these events and conversations,” said Town Administrator Dennis Sheehan. “Despite all of these positive steps, we then see these gut-wrenching words used in our community. Just days after the Stoneham Select Board made the historic step of naming Selectwoman Parker, the Town’s first African-American Select Board member, as its Chair, we are reminded that the work for greater understanding and change in our community has only just begun.”
“The opinions shared in that anonymous letter in no way reflect the beliefs of the Town of Stoneham, and in my experience I’ve found our community to be extremely welcoming and compassionate,” Chairwoman Parker said. “Our goal is to always treat residents equitably and with respect, and the sentiments expressed by the author of this letter are deeply contradictory to those values. I stand with the resident who showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, as I stand with all who raise their voices in support of racial justice.”