BURIEN, Wash. -- City officials in Burien are speaking out against a hate letter distributed to homes and businesses in the area last week. Now, police are investigating and trying to figure out who’s responsible for sending the letter.
“Well I was concerned about the letter specifically calling for violence against members of our community," said Matthew Wendland, co-owner of the coffee shop Burien Press.
Wendland says he found this letter inside of his coffee shop Burien Press. It claims to be written by the New Black Panther Party and it encourages “violence against Jews, Whites and Police.”
It asks for Black men and women to run for Burien City Council and it says, “We need to make it possible for (ICE) to deport the aliens because our quality of life is going downhill at a rapid rate.”
“It also read as something that would be confusing to people and misleading. It didn’t come across as genuinely something representing the people it claimed to be representing,” Wendland said.
The letter listed a contact number which turned out to be the number of a television station in Houston, Texas. Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta was also mentioned in the letter and he says even if the letter is a hoax, he’s not taking it lightly.
“Whether it’s propaganda or not, it’s the wrong propaganda and we don’t want this in this town. We just cannot tolerate that kind of behavior in society,” Matta said.
The Mayor says Burien’s demographics are changing and it recently became a sanctuary city. Not everyone is happy about Burien’s new status, but Matta still believes everyone has a right to feel safe in their own community.
“We are 45 percent minority, 25 percent Hispanic so as a majority, they understand that we need to have a place where people don’t feel terrorized and or feel scared of working with law enforcement agencies,” Matta said.
We reached out to the New Black Panther Party and have yet to get a response.
The King County Sherrif’s Office says they're investigating this incident but don't have any new leads in the case.