NEW BOSTON, NH — Mitch Larochelle and his wife, Jackie Larochelle, say they feel like their freedom of speech is under attack after a trio of vandals spray-painted graffiti on a large, illuminated “T” – for Trump — they have on their McCurdy Road property.
“We feel like we are being silenced,” Jackie Larochelle said.
She and her husband were frustrated a couple of weeks ago when it seemed all of the campaign lawn signs supporting President Donald Trump were stolen during a weekend spree. Mitch Larochelle has been active putting out signs in support of his preferred candidate. He decided to make a statement and built a 16-foot-tall capital letter “T” painted with stars and stripes in a bigger-than-life patriotic tribute for his candidate of choice.
“I decided I’m gonna make this thing and I’m gonna make it to prove a point,” Mitch Larochelle said. “I’m using my freedom of speech to say something.”
Then vandals hit the house over the weekend, spray-painting the words “Black Lives Matter” on the towering “T.” What the vandals didn’t know is they were filmed by Larochelle’s security cameras. Mitch Larochelle said the vandals threw toilet paper at the sign and also there is some kind of powder at the base. He thinks that may have tried to use the powder and toilet paper to start a fire.
“The police are now investigating the powder,” he said.
For the Larochelle’s, they see this as a continued effort to silence pro-Tump voices in the community. He said Trump opponents are quick to accuse him and others of being racist.
“They call us racists. I believe all lives matter, that’s not racist,” he said.
Jackie Larochelle said people stealing their signs is oppressive, and the opposite of what the country needs.
“We believe in freedom, we love our country, we believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” she said.
Mitch Larochelle said people who support the President are now putting their lawn signs in trees in order to prevent people from stealing them, or slashing them with knives. Mitch Larochelle said he plans to leave the graffiti up so people can see the damage for themselves.
“I’m not going after anybody’s signs, but I’m leaving the Black Lives Matter graffiti on there,” he said.
New Boston police have taken to social media to ask for help identifying the vandals. The Larochelle’s neighbors are also collecting money to offer a reward for information that leads to an arrest. The total is up at $1,300 as of Monday.