Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles is one of several city officials in the North Carolina city who were targeted by the same anonymous letter, and now local police are investigating.
In total, more than 12 officials in the city’s government — all except for one of whom are Black — received the letter by last Friday, which many deem racist. Four council members are among the recipients.
“Each of you despicable BLACK democrats should be tarred and feathered and run out of town (my town) on a rail,” the nearly two-page-long memo read in part, according to WCNC.
One of the officials who got the letter, Councilman Braxton Winston, told the local NBC affiliate, “If I can assume the intent, the intent was to intimidate.”
“And it was pretty intense … pretty well thought out, formatted,” Winston went on, recalling what the note said. “From ‘go back to where you came from,’ to tarred and feathering, which I take as a form of lynching. What I would call pretty racist, bigoted.”
The letter, which also addressed the fire department, police and members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board, expressed support for President Donald Trump, using language the leader of the free world has tweeted, NBC News reported. The author told local leaders to “go back” to the “crime-infested places” they “originally came from.” The writer also criticized former President Barack Obama and commanded, “leave our Confederate Memorials and statues alone”
Alluding to “blowing up the infamous ‘adulterer’ MLK statues,” the letter writer also stated, “I do believe you need to go back to where you came from if you don’t BEGIN to show this great country some RESPECT and HONOR.”
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Vilma Leake read the letter aloud at the county board meeting earlier this month.
“We will round you up — all of you — and send you screaming to the concentration camp where you belong,” she read. Leake, who was one of the recipients of the letter, said she is handing her letter over to the FBI.
Still, the agency told WCNC Wednesday it is not currently looking into the matter. However, local law enforcement is investigating. Police questioned a man who sent a message to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston, according to WSOC. The note was littered with racial slurs and asked Winston do “you deserve to be superintendent of schools?” The man who sent it was not arrested because he did not commit a crime, but he suggested to officers he’d send more, CMS lobbyist Charles Jeter told the station in a statement.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is now looking over copies of the letter issued to local Black leaders.