Appleton arson victims release statement on “cowardly” hate violence
APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The victims of an arson in Appleton have condemned the crime as an incident of hate violence.
The victims released this statement:
Diverse and Resilient’ s Room to Be Safe program says it is aware of three hate violence incidents last weekend in Appleton. There have been 41 incidents of hate violence over the past year.
Appleton Police say they continue to investigate the arson as a hate crime.
“It’s very concerning that somebody would do something like this in our community,” said Officer Meghan Cash.
On Sunday Appleton police officers responded to a call of a possible arson at a downtown home. They determined the incident should be investigated as a hate crime after gathering evidence and assessing the scene.
“There were some slurs, some symbols that were obviously very concerning to us, and the behavior that we saw, the arson itself, is just a really tragic situation to have happen in our community,” said Cash.
Cash says this case is unusual not just because this is a type of crime that doesn’t happen in the area often, but also because the victims wanted to speak out.
“We wouldn’t typically either ask or put a message out regarding a victim and how that impacted them because our job as law enforcement is to protect them,” said Cash. “This case is unique in the sense the victims wanted the community to know how this has impacted them, how this is affecting them, their life, and how much of a reach this has in our community.”
The department is asking for anyone with information to reach out.
“If there is unusual burns on somebody that you saw, that’s information we want to know," said Cash. "You know, anytime there’s an arson there’s a potential that the person could have been burned.”
Further information won’t be released at this point as the investigation is ongoing.
“This is just another reminder that it’s so important to watch out for your neighbor, be a good neighbor, and be kind to one another,” said Cash.
If you have any information, call 920-832-5500.
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