Puryear Law in Davenport received a disturbing letter in the mail that was addressed to owner Eric Puryear. It included a racial slur and other threatening language.
Eric Puryear has been an advocate for police reform and racial equality. When his assistant told him that there was a nasty letter in the mail, at first he thought it was about his legal work, but it turned out to be personal.
“Legal work inherently has people winning and losing. You see cases where I may represent someone and lets say that I represent mom and we win primary custody of the child and then dad is angry. I’ve gotten angry letters from the opposing party before. Sometimes people are angry that you won’t take on their case.”
As a lawyer, Puryear has seen his fair share of hate mail over the years, but this letter with threatening and racially insensitive comments is something new.
“I was just really surprised. I don’t tend to see the N word in writing as I’m just standing in my office. I don’t think anyone has threatened me like that before so I was rather surprised by it.”
Puryear says that seeing something like this in today’s society is concerning.
“I’d like to think that we’re past that sort of stuff that we can all discuss things peacefully. Obviously that’s not the case.”
As a big advocate for police reform and racial equality, Puryear has organized numerous peaceful protests that have brought out hundreds of people.
“I would think that when I’m engaging in polite discussion about an issue like police brutality and racism that we can see real examples of that the statistics make clear is a problem. That we can all just discuss the facts and that’s how it should be on every issue.”
Recently Puryear has seen more acts of racism than he has in the past.
“It seems like everything is a lot worse right now than it was a few months ago. Even last year was worse than the year before and the year before that. It seems to be something that’s building.”
Puryear will be holding another peaceful protest outside the Davenport Police Station at 4:00 pm on Saturday September 19th.