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Manchester rallies around 3 teens who police say were victims of a hate crime

2 brothers were charged in incident.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — The Manchester community is rallying around three boys who police say were the victims of a hate crime early Sunday morning.

When people from Jay's Autobody shop showed up at a daily Manchester rally, organizer Janay Waite, said she initially thought the protester's cars would be towed. That was until they revealed they were delivering a surprise.

"The fact that they came forward and provided bikes for these three young boys was just; it was amazing," says Janay Waite, Co-President of Power Up Manchester. "We couldn’t be more thankful."

Three new bikes for three boys who police say were the targets of a hate crime early Sunday morning.

Manchester Police arrested brothers 27-year-old Matthew and 28-year-old Michael Lemelin on a number of charges after they allegedly chased three teenage boys who were riding their bicycles, down Main street in Manchester, yelling racial slurs at them. According to their arrest warrants, Matthew, the passenger, stole one of the boy's bikes.

They're both being held on a $150,000 bond.

"I hope that they take this time to reflect on their actions," says Waite. "[W]hat they did was unacceptable. These are three, young teenage boys who did not deserve one ounce of this; who were just minding their own business riding their bikes and were called racial slurs who were chased…and it’s unacceptable."

RELATED: 2 men arrested, accused of hate crime, theft & intimidation in Manchester

Community leaders spoke out against the act and promised change.

"I was sick to my stomach that something like that could happen not only in our community but would happen anywhere in this state or this country. The fact that three young boys were the target of this racist act; it’s just sickening. It breaks my heart," says Manchester Mayor, Jay Moran.

Small businesses, like Jay's Auto making an impact in the three boys' lives. Michael Lemelin has not been employed at Jay's Auto for more than a year.

Pictures at Monday's rally were taken by Maura Alarcon. She says Justin Pratt from Jays wanted to make it known that the business supports Black Lives Matter and moving forward in the community. Employees at Jay's Auto stayed at the rally for the duration.

Mayor Moran says he is dedicated to listening and bringing people together.

"At our next meeting we’ll talk about policies and procedures we need to look at that will help," says Moran. "Hopefully, we will have black people, people of color around the table with us, and give us information, give us advice. I think the community needs to come together and work together to get this right."

RELATED: Granby man arrested in Bloomfield racial incident

RELATED: Bloomfield town leaders decry racism after two incidents they say were racially motivated

The Greater Hartford NAACP released on a statement on Facebook regarding the incident: 

We demand justice.

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