Black Doll Found On Resident's Yard

A Falmouth resident found this racial object near her political and Black Lives Matter lawn signs Sunday.

A Hatchville resident called police on Sunday, October 25, after she found a black doll’s head with “n---er luva” written on its forehead in her front yard.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, was working in the yard with her 14-year-old grandson when she found the plastic head near her Black Lives Matter and Biden/Harris for President lawn signs. The signs in her front yard had been there for months, she said.

“I have no idea how long it had been there or who put it there. I don’t know who would do this,” she said. “It needs to be called out for what it is, a hate crime. It’s repulsive and horrific. It breaks my heart that people feel this way.”

From the position she found the head, it looked like it had been thrown from a vehicle, she said.

“I was moving the signs so my grandson could mow when I found it near the ornamental grasses in the garden,” she said. “Only the back of the head was showing and I had to move it with a stick to see what it was.”

Detective David Massi responded to her call to the Falmouth police. The police report calls the incident a felony hate crime, with property damage to intimidate. According to the report, there are no suspects and it is unknown how long the item was lodged in the bush before it was located.

The woman told police she feels she was a target because of her political views that were on display in front of her house.

“Someone went to great lengths to find a doll, cut off the head, and drive it to my house. It’s intimidation,” she said.

What is also troubling is that her grandson, who lives with her, saw it.

“We’ve had a lot of tough conversations about it,” she said. “He is mortified.”

Police photographed the doll head and placed it into evidence. It is being processed for fingerprints.

“Someone went through great effort to find a black doll and then ripping off its head. It’s troubling,” Falmouth Police Chief Edward Dunne said. “But until we find out who is doing it, we don’t know the motive. Was it mischief or was it targeted?”

The Falmouth Select Board addressed the incident at its meeting Monday night, October 26.

Board member Douglas H. Jones described it as “absolutely horrendous.”

“I think we all want to agree just how egregious and horrible it is this happened in our town,” Mr. Jones said. “There is no business for it, there is no place for it. It is just despicable.”

Chairwoman Megan English Braga said this type of tactic has been used for decades to intimidate and scare people.

“It really is just an exercise in cowardice, and it really doesn’t have a place in our town,” she said.

In a phone interview later this week, Ms. English Braga said behavior like this has been going on a long time.

“There needs to be more than just a conversation about race, but as a town, we need to do more than just talk about it,” she said.

The town is looking to hire a diversity coordinator and has funded the position.

“This person will be a resource for people who have been harmed by these types of incidences,” said Meghan Hanawalt, chairwoman of Falmouth’s Affirmative Action/Diversity Committee.

“There is racism in Falmouth, every part of our country has racism, but the positive is we are working to hire the coordinator who will help us be more aware and a more welcoming multicultural community,” she said. The Falmouth schools are integrating more diversity into its curriculum as well, she noted.

Since moving to Falmouth 10 years ago and being involved in No Place For Hate-Falmouth, the Reverend Nell Fields, minister of the Waquoit Church, said she has been alerted to cases of racism here.

“These things are happening and they have been happening,” she said. “I hope the police start connecting the dots. How many times has there been graffiti, how many signs’ stolen, how many reports of racist, hate or anti-Semitic remarks? We can’t pretend these are outsiders coming in and doing these things, or that they are little acts of vandalism.”

Ms. Fields suggested the diversity coordinator could look at ways to diversify the roster of town employees, including the police force.

“The town needs to take it seriously,” she said. “It’s a call to action.”

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