KEY POINTS

  • Police were seeking the public's help to find the culprits who distributed the racist T-shirts
  • The families are "in a state of disbelief" over hateful message on shirts
  • Event has been organized at Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park on Sunday afternoon to rally against racism

Racist T-shirts left outside the homes of some families of color in Dobbs Ferry, a village just north of New York City, have prompted a police investigation.

At least one Asian and two Black families found the "Welcome to Dobbs Ferry" T-shirts left outside their homes Monday.

"You came from there because you didn't like there. And now you want to change here to be like there. We are not racist, phobic or anti-whatever-you-are. We simply like here the way it is and many of us were actually born here and stayed because it is not like there. Wherever there was. You are welcome here with open arms! But please stop trying to make here like there. You should not have left there to come here. Please love Dobbs Ferry as we do and please do your best to leave it as you found it," the back of the T-shirt reads.

Police were investigating the incident and were seeking the public's help to find the culprits. Dobbs Ferry Police Chief Rick Guevera told the Journal News he learned of the incident from social media and none of the families had contacted them as of Wednesday. It was not clear if other families have also received such T-shirts.

"I just want to assure my residents that they should feel safe and not have to have this in their backyards," Guevera told the newspaper.

The incident has caused furor in Dobbs Ferry and nearby villages. Calling the message "racist," activist Kelli Scott told the newspaper, "It's not acceptable. At the end of day whatever the message was supposed to be, that's not what was communicated so therefore we stand against and are adamantly against it."

While speaking to NBC New York, Scott said, "If you are not racist or phobic, you would not call people 'whatever you are.’ These shirts were in driveways and doorsteps. Families woke up to this."

"They're pretty shaken and kind of in a state of disbelief," Scott added.

Scott, along with other local activists, have organized a rally at Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park on Sunday afternoon to protest the incident.  

Thousands of people have been taking part in more than a week of protests nationwide against racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd In this representational picture, thousands of people take part in protests nationwide against racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd. Photo: AFP / Jose Luis Magana