On Oct. 15, several plastic bags weighted with rice and containing literature composed of racial and cultural slurs were found strewn on lawns and driveways on Methyl and Ogden Streets, Lorimer Avenue and Overhill Road.
The police and fire departments, the mayor’s office and the state police responded to the incident and law-enforcement officials said then and subsequently that they were investigating the dissemination of the offensive literature linked to national extremist groups, normally a constitutionally protected activity, to determine if it crossed the line into a violation of the state’s anti-hate crime statute.
After meeting with residents of the blocks targeted and discussing the situation, the Summit Neighborhood Association’s board of directors made this statement:
The Summit Neighborhood Association condemns the attacks on the cultural, ethnic and racial diversity of our community. Such cowardly and despicable action runs counter to the history of our neighborhood and to the values of inclusion that we cherish.
The SNA commends the Providence Police, the mayor’s office and the State Police for investigating the incident as a possible criminal act and urges that such inquiry continue with the full force of appropriate law.
The neighborhood group remains open to further discussions and suggestions as to how the residents can demonstrate their revulsion of such activity. The SNA board meets the evening of the third Monday of each month at Summit Commons and the public is invited.