‘We feel welcomed now’: Waterbury neighbors rally around family that received anonymous racist letter

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Waterbury neighborhood is rallying around a family that received a racist letter in the mail last month.

Tashia Autry is feeling better in her new home in the East Mountain neighborhood.

“The neighborhood has really reached out and apologized for whoever the unknown is,” Autry said. “And they just wanted to show there is good in East Mountain and I appreciate that. And my family is really happy and we feel welcomed now.”

RELATED: ‘This is not okay’: Waterbury mother says family received racist letter when moving into city neighborhood

That wasn’t the case a month ago when News 8 first told her story. Someone delivered an anonymous letter to her. Autry found it in her mailbox.

She read part of it to News 8:

“Now that you’re here and out of the ghetto please leave your ghetto ways on the other side of town,” the letter read. “Nobody wants to hear your music blasting from your car radios while you sit in your car smoking drugs.”

Autry told News 8 she doesn’t do drugs and she was offended by the implication that they moved from “the ghetto”. She questioned if the assumption was made because of the color of her skin.

After she went public with the letter, it was discussed at an East Mountain Neighborhood Association meeting where the community showed its outrage at a letter like that being drafted and delivered in their community.

“For somebody to sit there and do a letter like this basically is just cowardly,” one resident said.

“We are not that kind of person. Whoever wrote that letter is obnoxious,” said another.

RELATED: East mountain neighborhood association reacts to racist letter sent to new resident

Waterbury Police tell News 8 they are actively investigating trying to find out who wrote and delivered that anonymous letter.

“The Waterbury Police Department is going to do everything possible to make sure our residents are safe, they’re not being harassed, they’re not being targeted,” said Sgt. Robert Davis.

Meantime, Autry says something good has emerged from this pain. Autry says the community is now actively taking steps to make her family feel welcome. Besides the cards filled with well wishes, she says they’ve delivered cakes and snacks — all part of an effort to make amends for one bad apple who has yet to come forward.

“It’s taught me that there are good people in this world,” Autry said.

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