LUNENBURG -- Residents reacted with surprise Wednesday to news that the investigation into racist graffiti left on the home of a biracial Lunenburg High School football player is now focused on his mother.
Interviewed outside the post office, Holly Cafferky, of Leominster, said she was floored by the new development in the case.
"It's just unbelievable to know a parent could possibly do that," she said.
Her four-year-old daughter Grace was with her.
"Why would you do that to your child? Why would you go that far when you know it's only going to hurt them?" she said.
Isaac Phillips, a 13-year-old eighth-grader who played on the freshman football team at the high school, was targeted for the color of his skin, according to his parents. Phillips' mother, Andrea Brazier, is white, and his father, Anthony Phillips, is black.
The family said they woke on the morning of Nov. 15 to see the phrase "Knights don't need n******" spray-painted on the foundation of their home at 134 Chase Road. Lunenburg's team nickname is the Blue Knights.
The incident led to Superintendent of Schools Loxi Jo Calmes canceling the high school's Thanksgiving football game.
Cafferky said she still supports the superintendent's decision to forfeit the game, even though police have said there is no conclusive evidence linking any player on the football team to the graffiti.
"They have to set an example for these kids, and they need to show the district is taking this seriously, even though it was punishment for the entire team," she said.
Sara and Lukas Cuddy, both of Lunenburg, have two young children and graduated from Lunenburg High School in 2000. While outside the post office, they said they felt bad for Isaac Phillips.
"Anywhere he goes now, he's going to be known as that kid. It's just awful," said Sara Cuddy. "I feel bad for all the kids who had to miss out on this game. I was a cheerleader in high school, and I know how much that Thanksgiving game means to all those kids. I honestly don't believe any kid in that school would have done something like this."
Lukas Cuddy agreed, saying his best friend all through high school was African-American and while there is not a lot of diversity in town, Lunenburg students are not ignorant.
Shortly after the graffiti was discovered Isaac Phillips transferred to a middle school in Leominster.
On Wednesday afternoon, just after 2 p.m., residents, news crews and curious motorists camped out at the end of the driveway of Phillips and Brazier. A police cruiser blocked its entrance.
A search warrant granted by District Court Judge Andrew Mandell had been executed at the home on Monday. Police recovered ammunition and two cans of spray paint.
Lunenburg police Lt. Michael Luth said the family told police they had cleaned out the home of a deceased relative and had held on to the ammunition. It was not immediately clear how long the family was in possession of the ammunition.
Luth said there is no evidence to suspect Isaac Phillips was involved in spray-painting the graffiti or had first-hand knowledge of what was going on.
His mother has not been arrested and no charges have been filed against her. Luth said representatives from the department and police would be meeting with Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early, Jr., to discuss possible charges.
If arrested, Luth said Brazier could face charges including filing a false police report and obstruction of justice.
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