Charlotte mayor and other lawmakers receive same threatening, racist letter

A police spokesman on Friday said: "We are aware of the letters and reviewing the material."

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By David K. Li

The mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, and several other area African American lawmakers in the area received the same threatening, racist letter in the mail, officials said Friday.

The anonymous missives — sent to government offices about 2 1/2 weeks ago — told the targeted city council and county commissioners that they should be "tarred and feathered and run out of town (my town) on a rail," according to a copy of the letter provided to NBC News.

"The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has been contacted. We are aware of the letters and reviewing the material," department spokesman Robert Tufano said in a statement Friday.

The letters, all mailed within days of each other, were sent to the offices of Mayor Vi Lyles, six members of the city council and five members of the county commission, officials said.

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All of the lawmakers are African American, with the exception of Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera, who is an immigrant from India who moved here as a teenager.

The letters were identical and apparently sent by the same person, Mayor Lyles' spokesman Jeremy Mills said Friday.

Charlotte City council member Braxton Winston speaks at a meeting in Charlotte, N.C. on July 16, 2018.Chuck Burton / AP file

"I've received individual hate letters, but this is the first where it was sent to people throughout the city," Ajmera told NBC News.

The writer said they support the work of President Donald Trump, criticized former President Barack Obama, wants to keep statues and memorials to Confederate leaders and wants to remove any public tributes to slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

The letter also borrowed recent, racist language used by President Trump, telling some of his congressional critics to "go back" to the "crime infested places" they "originally came from."

"I’ve heard it many, many time before, 'go back to where you came from,' so that’s why this was personal to me," Ajmera said. "Unfortunately, this kind of language has become the norm."

City Councilman Braxton Winston told NBC affiliate WCNC that the letters had "the intent was to intimidate."

"We get hate-mail all the time," he said. "But this one was unique ... It was pretty intense, pretty intense, [and] pretty well thought out."