NewsLocal News

Actions

Anonymous hate letter frightens Utah's Asian-American community

Posted at 9:35 PM, Mar 31, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — Detectives with the Unified Police Department are investigating after a disturbing and threatening letter was sent to at least one Asian-American owned business.

The letter was received just days after a gunman in Georgia killed eight people, including six of Asian descent.

It glorifies that attack and goes on to say, “All Asian’s [sic] must go home now,” and “More people will target Asian’s [sic] for death.”

In-Depth: Asian American Utah lawmakers talk about increase in bias during pandemic

“This is an individual telling an entire community that they are at risk. That threatens a lot of people. It’s not right. It’s not fair,” said Sgt. Melody Cutler with Unified Police. “This is no joke. We are talking serious charges."

Since the letter was sent via United States mail, Cutler says the Postal Inspector is assisting in the investigation.

“When I talk about forensic tests, we don’t just do that for no reason. We don’t do that on minor crimes,” she said.

The words are frightening to those in Utah’s Asian-American community.

“The message in the letter is very strong and it is very threatening,” said one woman who asked to remain anonymous to protect her safety. She moved to the United States from Vietnam more than 10 years ago. “I feel lost because I feel like maybe I don’t belong to either country. I feel frightened because of the message in the letter.”

Read: 'Stand With Asians' SLC supports businesses, spreads message

She tells FOX 13 several of her friends and colleagues in the Taylorsville and West Valley City area have received the letter.

Now, for the first time in more than 10 years, she doesn’t feel safe in the Utah.

As investigators look for the person or persons responsible, she is comforted knowing this hate doesn’t live in the hearts of most Utahns.

“I know that this is just an act of a small group of people or even a person,” she said. “I still love my city. I still love the state. I still love the people here.”

Read: Rally against racism targeted at Asian Americans held in SLC

Unified Police are asking anyone who may have received this letter to come forward. The paper could have a fingerprint or DNA that could lead detectives to the perpetrator.

They also urge people to report any incident that may be considered a hate crime, including the shouting of racial slurs. Doing so could lead investigators to someone who has more violent intentions.