One sign on Route 209 includes two swastikas and another down the road displays negative messages about a former fire chief.
The first message drivers see when heading north reads “Americans murdered. Open borders. Death 4 America? Your Your Kids. Rainbow Fentanyl. Democrats Invasion supporting (two swastikas).”
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The man who put the message up on his home told FOX61 he wanted to write “communism” instead of using the symbols but ran out of room. The homeowner, who declined to go on camera, says the reason for the display is to address the rainbow fentanyl crossing the U.S. border and, what he calls, a lack of action from Democratic leaders in the state to address it.
Town First Selectman Tom Weik said in a statement, “We are aware of the sign and have researched to see if any laws or regulations have been violated and we have found that there are no violations. While we may not agree with what is painted on the side of the barn, there is nothing the town can do about it as it is freedom of speech, protected by our Constitution.”
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A mile and a half up the road, there is another sign that neighbors say changes frequently. They say it has included a middle finger and wording with swear words in the past. Currently, there is a sign thanking veterans. Next to it, there’s a message reading, “Ricky “The Chief D***” Duffy. Bantam Fire Company’s Worst Chief Ever,” referring to the fire chief who retired in 2017.
Neighbors say, while they respect and agree with the First Amendment, the messages on these signs have gone too far. Words neighbors used to describe them were “outrageous,” “distasteful,” and “angry.”
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One person said the “thank you veterans” sign on the one home is the first positive message to be put up. No one was at the home when FOX61 crews were on the scene. Another neighbor says she’s concerned about the message with swear words and other symbols as school buses pass by.
Many knew of the sign with the messages against Democrats, but weren’t aware swastikas were painted on. The homeowner says he put it up more than a month ago once he heard about rainbow fentanyl in the United States. He said it’s a concern for him as a grandfather and doesn’t think those elected to represent him are doing enough to combat the issue. He said he has changed the signs in the past to address different issues with Democrats.
A neighbor feels as if the message and view points of the homeowner has been made and would like to see it taken down.
FOX61 reached out to the Morris Republican Town Committee and Democrat Town Committee for comment and did not hear back. A request was also sent for comment from the town’s Senate and House representatives and FOX61 did not hear back.
Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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