By WECT Staff | December 18, 2019 at 2:42 PM EST – Updated December 18 at 6:43 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – St. Andrew’s AME Zion Church received a three-page letter Sunday full of hateful language directed at the African American community, according to the Wilmington Police Department.
The letter was typed, unsigned and missing a return address.
Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said the case is considered a hate crime and has been assigned to a violent crimes detective.
The police department is working with the postal inspector to determine the origin of the letter in an effort to catch the individual responsible.
Officers have increase patrols around all churches in the area to protect those who were targeted. Furthermore, the WPD Crime Prevention team will review church security plans to ensure they are as safe as possible.
“We will not sit back and allow ourselves to be divided,” Evangelous said during a press conference Wednesday morning. “We stand here together. There’s no place in our society [for] a letter like that with the language and disgusting rhetoric that we should be beyond. Let’s fix what the problems are. Let’s not tear down what we have. That’s what this letter, this individual is trying to do. We stand here united. We’re going to be here together. We’re going to fix this and move on.”
To any churches or other organizations that receive a similar letter: Try not to touch it. The more people who handle it, the harder it will be to collect forensic evidence. Contact Wilmington police at (910)-343-3609 as soon as possible.
Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.