Taking pictures at northwest Dallas salon might have been a hate crime, police chief says

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Police Chief Eddie García mentioned Friday {that a} taking pictures that wounded three girls of Korean descent at a hair salon in northwest Dallas might have been a hate crime — a day after he mentioned police had dominated out hate as an element.

A person fired a number of photographs Wednesday contained in the Hair World Salon within the 2200 block of Royal Lane earlier than fleeing in a purple minivan. Three workers within the salon had been struck and had been hospitalized with accidents that weren’t life-threatening. One buyer was inside and was unharmed.

At a information convention at police headquarters, García mentioned the taking pictures could also be linked to at the very least two different crimes which have focused the town’s Asian group.

The primary passed off on April 2, additionally within the 2200 block of Royal Lane, close to Interstate 35E, the place photographs had been fired into three Asian-owned companies, however nobody was injured. Witnesses reported that the motive force fled in a purple minivan.

And on Tuesday, a person believed to be driving a burgundy van shot into an Asian-run enterprise within the 4800 block of Sunnyvale Road, close to East Ledbetter Drive in east Oak Cliff. Three individuals had been inside however had been unhurt, police mentioned.

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A shattered mirror inside Hair World Salon on Thursday.
A shattered mirror inside Hair World Salon on Thursday.(Rebecca Slezak / Employees Photographer)

García mentioned Thursday that authorities had achieved their due diligence and that police might “confidently say that hate was not a motivating issue” in Wednesday’s taking pictures. However on Friday, the chief mentioned the division’s stance modified due to the “ongoing investigation and a constant evaluate of officer stories made by the division’s crime evaluation unit.”

“Out of an abundance of warning,” García mentioned he has reached out to companies together with the FBI, the North Texas Joint Terrorism Taskforce and different native departments to find out whether or not any further crimes of their jurisdictions is perhaps associated.

The division additionally has been in touch with native Asian group and enterprise leaders, the Texoma workplace of the Anti-Defamation League and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s hate crime advisory council.

In a written assertion, Johnson mentioned it was “chilling and deeply disturbing” to know that the taking pictures might have been a hate crime.

“I would like our metropolis’s Asian American group — which has appallingly confronted growing vitriol lately — to know that the Metropolis of Dallas and the individuals of Dallas stand with them,” the mayor mentioned.

State Rep. Rafael Anchía, a Democrat whose district consists of the salon, mentioned “Dallas won’t tolerate hate towards our Asian group.”

Lily Trieu, govt director of the Austin-based advocacy group Asian Texans for Justice, mentioned her group appreciated that García was listening to the group’s issues and was trying into whether or not Wednesday’s taking pictures was tied to different violence.

”We’re relieved that each one three victims are protected and in restoration, however this type of assault makes our whole group really feel unsafe,” Trieu mentioned.

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Dallas police said the person pictured in this image is believed to have shot three women at...
Dallas police mentioned the particular person pictured on this picture is believed to have shot three girls at a hair salon within the 2200 block of Royal Lane.(The Dallas Police Division)

Charles Park, a Korean American activist primarily based in North Texas, mentioned he thinks Dallas police realized that it was too early to dismiss the taking pictures as a hate crime.

”It’s going to be a protracted technique to fixing this difficulty, however it’s one step in the best course, I feel,” he mentioned.

Brian Kim, secretary common of the Better Dallas Korean American Chamber of Commerce — a bunch whose essential precedence is to make sure security at Korean-owned companies — mentioned Dallas police ought to take steps to supply better safety within the space.

”If this can be a hate crime, we actually fear concerning the safety, as a result of there are various Korean companies on Royal Lane,” Kim mentioned. “They need to be protected and guarded.”

Shifting ahead, García mentioned the division can be utilizing surveillance digicam trailers and growing patrols in sure areas which have been or could possibly be focused.

Police have described the gunman in Wednesday’s taking pictures as 5-7 to 5-10, with a skinny construct, curly medium-length hair and a beard. He was sporting all black, police mentioned.

The police chief mentioned authorities had been sharing details about the potential motive for the taking pictures in hopes it sparks sufficient motion to result in an arrest.

“We’re turning to each citizen within the metropolis of Dallas to maintain a watch out and safeguard our metropolis,” he mentioned. “Hate has no place right here. … In the event you see one thing, say one thing.”

A hate crime discovering in Texas enhances the attainable punishment for a criminal offense. For instance, a second-degree felony is often punishable by two to twenty years in jail. But when a jury believes the act was a hate crime, the punishment will increase to the vary for a first-degree felony: 5 to 99 years or life.

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However it may be laborious to show an incident was a hate crime, and such circumstances typically take extra investigative work than non-hate crimes.

Right here’s what to know concerning the taking pictures that injured 3 girls at a Dallas salon

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