A coalition comprised of 22 different Milwaukee community organizations is working to advocate for Dan Popp’s alleged triple homicide to be considered a hate crime, according to Colorlines. Earlier this month (March 6), Popp was arrested for allegedly killing a Puerto Rican man and a Hmong couple in their apartment building.
“It is important that our community, our city, our state and, in fact, our nation admit that hate does exist and where we see it, we must identify it,” Darryl Morin of the League of United Latin American Citizens said to Colorlines.
The hate crime accusations are rooted in a criminal complaint that was made against Popp for racist remarks he reportedly said before shooting Mai and Phia Vue and Jesus Manso-Perez, such as, “Oh, that’s why you don’t speak English.”
Popp currently faces three charges of first-degree intentional homicide and one charge of attempted intentional homicide. The latter comes from also shooting at Manso-Perez’s 18-year-old son. Each of the first three charges would result in a mandatory life sentence if convicted. The group is also asking for police to disclose how Popp was able to possess a firearm despite his history of mental illness.
Acknowledging the hateful motivations behind hate crimes that separates them from other crimes is a necessary step towards ending them. Hopefully it won’t take much more from the coalition to have it be revealed whether or not these murders were racially motivated.
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