On Thursday, Lindenhurst, Long Island resident Ronica Copes received a letter in her mailbox boldly asking her and her family to move because they’re Black.

The letter, that was addressed to the “African-American Family”, was printed on plain white paper in bold capital letters stating, “This is coming from the Lindenhurst Community. Lindenhurst is 84% white. You don’t belong here. Please leave as soon as you can.” 

Copes expressed shear disappointment when reading the letter, but also admits she was hardly surprised by it’s content. In an interview with local New York station WPIX, Copes said, [It is] unbelievable, but then it’s not. [It is] our daily reality. I’ve just never seen it in this form.” 

County Executive Steven Bellone released a statement Friday calling the author of the letter a “coward,” saying, “I stand together with all Lindenhurst residents who decry this act of hatred. This community and all of Suffolk County are better than that.” 

Suffolk County police are investigating the letter as a hate crime against the Copes family.