Lots of things aren’t racist in our world: kittens, a field of flowers (unless you ask this guy), gently wafting curtains blowing in the breeze… But you know what is? Sending a letter to a black family with a photo of a lynching, even if you say it’s not.
Matthew Cimaroli, 22, sent a letter to eighteen-year-old African American Javon Hale that read, “Your Days Are Numbered.”
Just for good measure, he included a photo of two men being lynched. However, this totally not racist act was not because Cimaroli is the sort of person to jump straight to a threat of lynching to resolve a dispute or “for any racist reasons,”as he told authorities. It’s all about drugs.
“We are being told by the suspect that it was in retaliation for an alleged drug deal that went bad and some money owed,” Stoughton Police Chief Greg Leck said. “It was directed individually at the son and not at the family in particular.”
Cimaroli told a detective at first that he did not send the letter and claimed that the family’s son had stolen money from him in the past. However, after he was informed that his DNA was on the envelope, he fessed up.
The Hale family, who says they are relieved by the arrest, says that they are unaware of any drug connection between the two men. “I didn’t have knowledge of that,” Harry Hale said. “It came to us and we got the letter, me and my wife did. I’m just glad they got him and set an example for people doing stuff like that.”
Regardless of the “not-racist” claims, Leck says that “I think the message that we want to send is that we don’t tolerate this kind of behavior in Stoughton, and we will aggressively pursue that.” Police did include the hate crime enhancer.