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Trenton neighbors discover 'hate mail' in their lawns

Police say letters are considered hate mail, threats

TRENTON, Mich. – People living in three different neighborhoods in Trenton discovered something very disturbing on their property last weekend.

"I saw something in my driveway and I picked it up and (I was in) total shock," Kellee Kubany said.

Kubany found racist letters sealed in plastic bags.

"It's 2016," Kubany said. "We don't have this 'you and them' mentality anymore. We're all trying to battle life together."

The letters are laced with the N word. They speak about "Equal rights for whites," violence towards blacks and  other derogative comparisons.

"It has a picture of an ape," said Chewana Lee, who also found a letter. "Where do you see we look like apes? That's where the disturbing part is."

Lee is the only African-American on her block.

"It actually pushes me out, where I just want to get away from it, because I have two small kids," Lee said.

Police said a different flier protected by free speech popped up in neighborhoods back in July. But that flier only talked about recruiting for the Ku Klux Klan. This recent distribution crossed the line.

"We consider it to be hate speech, but we also consider it to be a threat," Trenton police Chief Steve Voss said.

Trenton police believe the letters appeared on lawns between midnight and 3 a.m.

The number listed connects to the KKK, but callers can only leave a message.

Police don't know exactly who's behind this, but they want it to stop.

"The fear and concern is that it will escalate and it will cause more division," Voss said.

For now, neighbors are keeping an eye out for whoever is leaving the hate packages behind, but protecting themselves too.

"It's just a terrible situation and I have to protect mine whether that's getting a camera or getting a gun," Lee said. "It's just really sad."