Attleboro mom claims her sons were threatened, discriminated against by neighbor

An Attleboro woman is speaking out after she said her children were threatened and discriminated against by a neighbor because of the color of their skin.

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WLNE) – An Attleboro woman is speaking out after she said her children were threatened and discriminated against by a neighbor because of the color of their skin.

Lindsay Giammarino is mom to three boys, ages 9, 10, and 20.

Her 9 and 10-year-old boys were riding their bikes with friends in their neighborhood last Thursday when they called Giammarino in a panic.

“My 10-year-old called and said, ‘Mom, I’m really scared. I want to come home. And I said ‘Okay, what happened?’ And he said, ‘A woman just told us that if we don’t get off her lawn she was going to call the police,’ and what happened to George Floyd would happen to them.”

Giammarino said her sons were with four other children in the neighborhood, all of whom were white. Her sons are mixed-race.

“(The woman) said the Caucasian kids can go home, but the black kids need to get off my lawn before I call the police, and we know what happens when we call the police. So I took that as a threat on their life, and she said what happened to George Floyd could happen to you also.”

Giammarino said she walked over to the woman’s house to ask what had happened, and the woman told her the boys were ringing her doorbell, and she only used George Floyd as a reference because of current events.

“She said ‘Well, they are watching the news, aren’t they? I told them, George Floyd, because it’s on the news and they watch the news, they’re not dumb.'”

But a game of dingdong ditch or not, Giammarino said it doesn’t excuse the threat.

“No one has the right to scare my children especially with a racist remark like that,” said Giammarino.

After the two spoke, Giammarino said the woman called Attleboro Police and claimed she was being threatened by the mother. Giammarino said she talked with officers and assured them that hadn’t happened.

“I have a video of our conversation, so I showed that, and there was clearly no threat to her life. And then the officer had said, ‘You know, maybe next time you should just ignore it because she’s old and set in her ways.”

Attleboro Police did not respond to our request for comment Wednesday, but Attleboro Police Chief Kyle Heagney told the Sun Chronicle that two officers responded to the neighbor’s house after she called police, but notes from the incident do not show them speaking with Giammarino.

Giammarino said, while her sons will play elsewhere, she doesn’t want the story to go away. She hopes it will serve as a teachable moment that racial profiling can happen anywhere.

“I am a white woman trying to help my children who I can’t relate to at this point because they are brown and I am white. I wanted people to know that this does happen here. I wanted my boys’ story to be heard, I wanted their voice to be known.”

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: Attleboro, Massachusetts, News, Regional News, Rhode Island