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Irving Chief of Police Jeff Spivey responds to Asian American community.

By Anu Benakatti

Asian american community leaders have taken an initiative and organized a meeting with Irving Chief of Police.It was reported that,City of Irving resident(S) has received a life threatening letter from an anonymous person that has scared many residents, specifically Asian Americans.In response to the letter, Irving Chief Of Police Jeff Spivey had a virtual meeting with community leaders and volunteers Tuesday,September 1st to bring awareness about the situation. He also informed residents about the precautions and actions that citizens should take immediately in case they received or continue to receive such messages in the future.He said “ Please Report immediately”.While answering the question on form of the threat or harassment, he said‘There has been only one letter that has been brought to our attention by one person in our community”. This letter has been posted on social media. I received several messages from community leaders who have my cell phone number, and immediately brought this to my attention. I reached out to my intelligence unit in my criminal investigations division and asked them to immediately start investigating this, and also reached out to the community leaders who contacted me, just to make sure that the person who did receive the threat and made a police report that we could get the letter, and in our hands because the letter provides a great deal of evidence for us and we needed to lay hands on that,as we saw social media around that our victim probably began to pick up and news media began to catch hold of it with the assistance of the Pio team and our social media teams as well.It is the message that, we were aware of this letter, what the letter look like and encourage anyone else who have seen the letter but may not have the been offended by it or maybe not sure what to do with it to “contact us so that we could begin maybe putting some other pieces together and help us develop a stronger case or help us lead to some some evidence where we could possibly identify”. Like I stated we only have the one letter I checked about an hour ago with the detective. He only has one report but like I said, we do have the letter I think what we know to this point in our social media team to put out earlier today. We believe that there is only one letter at this point and that as the social media firestorm built.The people began making assumptions when they would see their friends repost the original post at their friends had also received the letter or that they knew somebody who had received the letter and so a lot of energy went around deservedly so it’s a very concerning letter and very concerning threat. So a lot of energy and anxiety was built up over this on social media. What we don’t know right now is who wrote the letter, we don’t know where it was sent from, we don’t know the intent behind the letter other than what it said. We don’t know if it’s a legitimate threat or if it is someone playing a very poor practical joke, whether it’s someone trying to get attention at this point. There’s a lot we don’t know but we’re continuing to investigate that it will certainly be important for us as we go forward.And to figure things out through the evidence that we’ve collected thus far and encourage the community. If you do know anything if you’ve heard rumors, if you’ve seen things on social media, we put the detectives name and number out there on our social media sites. So please contact that detective so he can continue to gather that information for his investigation.They opened a criminal investigation right now. It consists of a charge of harassment which is a Class B misdemeanor that would be punishable by up to six months in the county jail and a thousand dollar fine. However, if we can prove that hate was a part of sending the letter which certainly seems to be given the language in the letter that would enhance or possibly could enhance the punishment offense there.As he continued to give assurance to the Asian american community, he said,“This misconception that Texas has a hate crime statute, isn’t for the offense itself. It’s built into the punishment of the offense charged. So if the harassment is because of hate then the punishment is enhanced to the next higher level for Class B misdemeanor with them becoming a Class A misdemeanor for punishment purposes, but we would have to prove the hate part of it. In the court, that would be something the prosecutor would present when it came time for punishment”. We took the letter, we processed it for fingerprints to see if we can identify any fingerprints on the letter or on the envelope itself will be sending the letter and the envelope over for DNA testing those results. Take a great deal of time to get back from the DNA perspective if there is DNA.And obviously have to have someone to match it to before we know or able to identify who sent that unless they’re already in the DNA database for some reason. So if the lab does detect DNA, they’ll then enter that DNA evidence into what’s called CODIS, which is the DNA database that the FBI runs and see if there’s a match in codes that would potentially identify as a suspect. We’ll continue to follow leads. The postmark could be helpful if we can figure out where the letter was mailed from,and maybe this video that exists on when it was mailed to help us narrow down a window of time when we could possibly identify a suspect whose mailing the letter will begin canvassing the area that the complainant lives in to see if anyone says seen anything or knows of.We chase down every lead that we can to try to identify who actually sent the letter. We’ve also been in contact with the US Postal Service. They have their own federal law enforcement investigative wing. And so we’ve contacted them to see about opening a federal investigation on this. We continue those conversations to see if this offense Rises to that level and if it does we’ll certainly include them in on the investigation and work together with them for resolution to identify a suspect and prosecute what what to expect what happens next will continue the investigation if we’re able to identify a suspect will try to then develop enough probable cause that will lead to the arrest of that suspect. Once that suspect is arrested, will then try to develop enough probable cause to file a case with the attorneys office or if we’re able to make a federal charge out of this with the US attorney’s office, but we have to get to that point first. We have to identify a suspect we have developed a probable cause to make that arrest and then develop the case to a point where we can present it for prosecution. So those are the next steps that will be taken from a law enforcement perspective. This is the most divisive time in our country. Everyone seems to be a target no matter what your race, your religion or what you do for a living. There’s someone out there targeting you for some reason that divisiveness will just continue to build unfortunately. Hopefully once we get past covid-19 we get past the election season once we get past all the discourse that’s happening.All of these Nationwide issues seem to be pushing and driving this unsettledness that I think are all of our communities feel and certainly because of this letter the Salvation in the Asian Community feel.If you receive this kind of threat whether it’s a threat against you because of your ethnicity because of your religion because of what you do for a living. It doesn’t matter. If you receive a threat we encourage you to report that to us we want to be able to investigate that we take all of those reports very seriously, we investigate and try to determine the veracity of the threat we try to determine if the person who made the threat if we can identify that person.Again, if there’s enough evidence to hold prosecute that person for the level of offense that matches the threat that was made.If you know someone who’s being threatened or you know, someone who’s being a last encourage them to make a report and if they want then you can reach out to us and you can make a report on their behalf. Now, we’re not going to be able to prosecute if they’re not willing to cooperate with us, but at least we can document the fact that there isn’t an instance occurring in our community that we need to be aware of. So if you’re aware of something, encourage that person to reach out to us. You can actually make reports harassment top reports online. You don’t have to talk to a police officer. You don’t have to call the police. You can do that from our website. However, if you have evidence if you’ve gotten a letter whew, you know, something’s been left at your door, we would encourage to contact us so that we can come by and pick that evidence up and then process it to see if it helps us identify any potential suspects and then as always any time we’re talking about crime and avoiding being a victim. Just be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to things that don’t appear to be normal that look out of place that just seemed to make you feel uneasy. And again, I would encourage, if it’s to the level that you need to notify the police department.If it’s an emergency call 911 if it’s a non-emergency than just call our non-emergency number will get a police officer out there as quickly as we can or will have somebody call you on the phone and just talk you through what you’ve experienced or what’s going on to determine there’s an officer need to come out there or can we handle this over the phone or refer you to our website.Chief Spivey requested everyone to come forward to speak up, and report such incidents in order to help the community and police investigation. He also assured that the person’s identity will be kept safe to the best level. He also addressed a few questions from the leaders regarding the national incidents.Anu BiAsia NewsDallas Tx09/02/2020

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