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Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts)

WORCESTER - There is not enough evidence to charge anyone in a racist graffiti incident last year in Lunenburg that divided the town for months, according to a spokesman for the Worcester district attorney's office.

Timothy J. Connolly, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., said his office has received several emails about the case from people in Lunenburg wondering what has happened since the Phillips family home was searched by police and the FBI in early December and evidence was taken. Those emails prompted the following response from the DA's office:

"After a thorough review by our Appeals Staff, we have notified the Lunenburg Police Department that the evidence presented to us fails to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed by a particular person," the email said. "We will continue to review any new evidence that is brought to our attention to determine if there are sufficient grounds to file criminal charges."

Anthony J. Phillips and his 13-year-old son, Isaac, were at the center of what many labeled a hate crime. Mr. Phillips told authorities that someone spray-painted "Knights don't need n------" on the side of the family's home. The Blue Knights are the Lunenburg sports teams. Though only in eighth grade, Isaac played football on the freshman and junior varsity teams.

Isaac's parents allege he was bullied by Lunenburg football players for weeks before the graffiti incident and school officials did nothing.

Superintendent Loxi Jo Calmes acknowledged school officials were aware of incidents involving Isaac, but refused to label them as bullying. Additionally, Lunenburg's athletic director apologized to Worcester South High Community School football players and coaches for racial slurs directed at them by Lunenburg players at two games on Nov. 1 and Nov. 4.

In light of the events, Ms. Calmes canceled the last two football games of the season for safety reasons, she said. Her decision ignited emotional opposition from football players and their families, and some residents turned against the Phillips family.

The football team was the focus of the investigation, but police said they could find no conclusive evidence linking present members of the team to the incident.

Weeks later, police focused their investigation on Andrea J. Brazier, Isaac's mother.

Police and the FBI searched the Phillips home in December looking for "any and all instruments pertaining to the crime" and all paperwork pertaining to Ms. Brazier's handwriting, according to a search warrant dated Dec. 3 from Fitchburg District Court.

Isaac transferred to Leominster's public school system, where he is attending classes and participating in sports.

Contact Paula Owen at powen@telegram.com Follow her on Twitter @PaulaOwenTG.

 

January 30, 2014

 

 
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