Seal Beach Police Investigating Threatening Letter Sent to Asian Woman

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Rafu Wire and Staff Reports

SEAL BEACH — Seal Beach police are investigating a threatening letter sent to a woman of Asian heritage.

Police were notified Monday that the letter was sent to a resident in Leisure World community for senior citizens. The caller said her mother had received the letter in the mail.

Tom Choi posted this photo on Facebook with the following description: “This is my friend. Her parents live in Leisure World Seal Beach, a retirement community. Her father passed away a few weeks ago and her mother received this from a coward of a neighbor. That community is about to get rocked with media coverage. And those who know the person who wrote this and said nothing are complicit. You don’t get a pass on racism just because you are older.”

Police were working to try to identify the sender of the handwritten letter, which was not signed.

The writer told the recipient, whose husband had recently died, to leave, which would make “one less Asian to put up with in Leisure World. You frickin’ Asians are taking over our American community! It is not resting well with all and everybody who lives here — true statement!!! Watch out! Pack your bags and go back to your country where you belong!”

“Hate directed toward any member of our community is disgusting and will not be tolerated,” Seal Beach Police Chief Philip L. Gonshak said. “Across the country we are seeing more and more violence committed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We will not allow this to happen in Seal Beach. Our investigators are working hard to follow up on any and all leads we receive.”

Anyone with information helpful to investigators was asked to call Detective Jon Ainley, (562) 799-4100, ext. 1113 or [email protected]

Leisure World Executive Director Randy Ankeny issued the following statement: “On March 22, a member of the LW community and your fellow shareholder received an anonymous letter of hate and discrimination. This crime is under full investigation.

“LW is committed to realizing the community’s vision of unit and the founding premise of neighbor helping neighbor. Our core purpose is to provide a welcoming, safe and inclusive community where every resident experiences a true sense of belonging. Accordingly, the Golden Rain Foundation states emphatically that acts of hate speech/bias will not be tolerated.

“This malicious and egregious act threatens the community’s core values of racial equity and social justice.

“The police and FBI are investigating the hate letter, which was sent by an anonymous individual who is believed to be a resident of Leisure World.

“The GRF is reaching out to community members to publicly reiterate that LW stands united in condemning hate speech and racism, and that every effort will be taken to locate and prosecute the person who sent the letter.

“As incidents of hate/bias escalate across the country, the GRF will continue to work in tandem with LW community leadership to address anonymous harassment.

“Our goal is to support all of our community members and to strengthen our proactive engagement in addressing the roots of intolerance and discrimination.”

Stop AAPI Hate planned to hold a rally at the main entrance of Leisure World on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The goal was “to drown out the hate and stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Island community members.”

Several rallies have been held around the Southland and across the country to address the rise in anti-Asian violence, including the murder of six Asian American women in Atlanta on March 16. More rallies are planned this weekend.

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