A woman from California has been charged after home security cameras captured her posting racist letters to neighbours.
52-year-old Nancy Arechiga of San Leandro reportedly delivered at least five handwritten flyers to homes around the neighbourhood. One flyer was taped to a tree.
Officers from the the San Leandro Police Department detained Arichiga for ‘inappropriate posts towards minorities’. However, they were forced to released her from Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail as the current state bail schedule was backed-up in the wake of the outbreak.
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The distributed flyers contained various xenophobic sentiments, and told those who she did not consider native to the US to ‘go far away, go back to your country, the place you belong’.
The letters even gave a date as to when they wanted the neighbours to be gone by, ‘May 23, 2020, Saturday 10:30 am’, adding, ‘no Asian allowed. My Country USA’.
According to the San Leandro Police Department, a Ring doorbell camera caught Arechiga posting one of the notes at a property.
Within just a few hours, Arechiga, who had remained within the area and was wearing a backpack containing more letters, was arrested.
San Leandro Police Lieutenant Isaac Benabou said:
San Leandro is a community of beautifully diverse people, who share a common desire to live in harmony, and free from intimidation.
We welcome people’s rights to express themselves, but not in a manner that infringes upon a community’s sense of security and wellbeing.
Mayor Pauline Cutter, as quoted in a police Facebook post, said:
I am aware of reports that a woman was posting flyers containing anti-Asian messages at residences and public places in our community yesterday.
I’d like to commend our Police Department for taking this situation extremely seriously. They were able to identify the person responsible within a matter of hours and take appropriate action right away.
The City of San Leandro is committed to being a welcoming place for everyone. There is no place for hate in our community.
Officers in the area investigated a similar incident on Thursday, May 21 when a similar note was found on the Heron Bay trail, this time attached to a notice board.
Officers have presumed Arechiga is the one responsible for this note, which was quickly removed by a good samaritan.