GOFFSTOWN — Police in Goffstown are asking for the public’s assistance regarding a partially burned Confederate flag left in a black family’s mailbox on Dec. 8, an incident the department suspects may have been racially driven.
“We are certainly concerned that there’s a racial element to this,” said Goffstown police Lt. Tom Hammond.
After conducting numerous interviews, police say they were unable to find any actionable leads, even going as far as to consult the FBI during the initial stages of the investigation.
With all investigatory resources exhausted, police are now reaching out to the public at the request of the victim, who Hammond says wishes to remain anonymous.
Hammond says the burned flag was a standalone incident, adding that there’s no cause to believe it was part of a larger pattern that targeted the victim.
Although the incident constitutes both criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, state law permits the attorney general to take civil action if an individual has “threatened damage to or trespass on property when such actual or threatened conduct is motivated by race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.”
Penalties for such an incident can include a fine of up to $5,000 and restitution to the victim for all out-of-pocket expenses.
“It was certainly frustrating when it came in,” Hammond said of the crime. “How is this family being targeted? It’s a very rural residential neighborhood and houses far off the road. You wouldn’t necessarily know that the family lived where they do. It’s troublesome.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Det. Scott Rousseau at (603) 497-4858.