A 63-year-old woman found herself sitting behind bars after racially harassing her new Black neighbors.
Greentown, Indiana police arrested Deborah Cantwell on Thursday (Oct. 25) for allegedly placing a racist letter on her neighbor’s door that targeted the family’s child and for toilet papering the yard, the Kokomo Tribune reported.
Authorities charged her with misdemeanor counts of intimidation and criminal mischief.
Cantwell admitted to investigators that she committed the crime, according to the police. On Oct. 13, the homeowner reported the incident. The note said, “Your ni**er kid is not welcome.” Another part of the letter stated: “No ni**ers wanted in this neighborhood-THIS IS A WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD-some people find Ni**ers Stressful.”
The woman offered a bizarre explanation for her crime.
“I was just trying to let them know that they weren’t really … welcome as far as us. … I just needed to let off some steam and it was the – I’m not a violent person so I didn’t think it was any big deal,” she told the investigator.
In an earlier text message to a white neighbor, Cantwell said she felt stressed that a Black family was moving into the neighborhood. “My blood pressure is elevated just thinking about the possibility,” she added.
The Black family apparently has no intention of leaving their dream home. They launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $10,000 for legal fees, a fence and a security system—but mainly to “fight a hate crime.”
“How do I tell my child that this was done? What words do I say to let him know it is not ok and this doesn’t represent this town, where everyone that meets him likes him?” the child’s mother wrote on the funding page. “That this can’t make him angry and bitter. That he is so much better than what they are portraying him as! His skin color shouldn’t matter.”