WASHINGTON: US State Attorneys Washington confirmed the arrest of a gunman who threatened to kill MP Pramila Jayapal (Democrat-Washington) last Saturday night.
At 11:25 p.m., the 48-year-old Seattle gunman walked past his house three times shouting obscenities, including: “Go back to India, I’ll kill you.” Witnesses heard gunshots, and when officers arrived at the scene, they arrested the man, who was carrying a .40 caliber handgun.
Although the man remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bond, the judge denied prosecutors’ request for an anti-harassment order to protect the congresswoman. The Seattle Police Department, United States Capitol Police and FBI investigators continue to investigate the incident.
Neil Makhija, Managing Director of American Indian impactan organization dedicated to building Indian American political power, investing in Indian American candidates and empowering the growing Indian American electorate, said in a statement, “We are grateful that Representative Jayapal and her family are safe, but we are horrified that they had to endure this terrifying hate crime. There should be no place for hate in our country, and Representative Jayapal and her family should not have to live in fear, yet today we see it everywhere.
Makhija added that there were more than 11,000 hate incidents against Asian Americans last year and nearly 600 more each month. These hate crimes are rarely reported on the news – even this story about a member of Congress was barely covered by the national media.
“We remain extremely alarmed that an application for a stalking protection order has been denied, particularly given the aggressive nature of the incident and the public nature of the MP’s work. Jayapal in Washington’s 7th congressional district should not be a threat to his life or the life of his family,” the Indian American Impact statement added.
Makhija urged the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into this incident and implement all necessary security measures to ensure the safety of Rep. Jayapal and other Asian American members of Congress. in their respective districts and in Washington, DC.
The statement added that recent data indicates that anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 339% in the last year alone. “This weekend’s incident represents a growing trend affecting all Americans. Racial injustice is alive and well in this country, and we must come together to reject it. Anything less is unacceptable.”



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