FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn. ― AAOP mourns the loss of the three individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who were targeted for their racial background and murdered on March 6th, 2016.
Dan Popp was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the shooting. The victims are Jesus R. Manso-Perez, 40, Phia Vue, 36, and Mai K. Vue, 32. The details of the murder investigation have revealed that he specifically sought out his neighbors for not speaking English.
“This hate crime case is very much connected to Wisconsin’s history of hate crimes against Native Americans, Black Americans, and immigrant communities of color. We remember the cases of Chai Vang, Cha Vang, and Sao Lue Vang, who were targeted and viciously attacked for their inability to speak or read English. We remember the Oak Creek victims in 2012, who were shot and killed in a Sikh temple by white supremacist Wade Michael Page amid growing anti-Muslim sentiment since 9/11. We remember Black Lives Matter in Wisconsin demanding an end to state violence and police brutality, and demanding for Justice for Tony Robinson.”
As we call for justice for Phia Vue, Mai K. Vue, and Jesus R. Manso- Perez, we must acknowledge that race-based, anti-immigrant hate crimes must be addressed and investigated seriously in our country. The perpetrators of such horrific crimes should be held fully accountable in our justice system, and we must continue to be proactive in ending these disturbing instances of violence meant to incite hatred against and inflict fear in communities of color.
“With the rise in xenophobic, nativist sentiment during an election year marked by particularly vitriolic anti-immigrant rhetoric and violence, we demand that these hate crimes be fully investigated as such and that those guilty of the same are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our communities refuse to be terrorized due to some perceived failure to assimilate in a society that we contribute to every day as immigrant Americans,” said Board of Directors Chair Tenzin Pelkyi.
AAOP asks that you please support the victims’ families as our communities mourn the loss of these innocent lives. Phia and Mai Vue are survived by four children. A GoFundMe has been created for the families’ memorial fund and can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/tmt6st7f. A GoFundMe has also been created for the funeral costs for Jesus Manso-Perez: https://www.gofundme.com/5qt2y57u.