This week in Asian America
Outcry as Targeted Triple Homicide not yet Concluded as Hate Crime
On March 6th, Dan Popp targeted Phia Vue, Mai Vue, and Jesus Manso-Perez in a homicidal rampage in their apartment building in Wisconsin.
According to police records, Popp, a 39 year-old white male, gathered the couple and their four children after forcing himself into their apartment proceeding a dispute over a shared washing machine with Jesus Manso-Perez, the first victim. Popp dragged Phia into his bathroom and fatally shot him before dragging Mai and shooting her in front her children, who are now orphans.
Witnesses claim that Popp questioned Jesus Manso-Perez and his son’s nationalities after a dispute in their shared apartment complex. When Manso-Perez clarified his Puerto Rican roots, Popp violently replied “Oh that’s why you don’t speak English. You guys got to go.”
As it stands, Popp is charged with three counts of intentional homicide and no charges of a hate crime – due to his alleged ties with mental illness. The investigation however is still ongoing, as the Milwaukee police continue to uncover more conclusive evidence behind the motives of the homicide.
Jon Li, a Junior at Baruch College currently working at McCann, shared his frustrations with this entire story, stemming primarily from the lack of media coverage. “I don’t get it – why is this not being talked about?” he vented.
For Li, the 20 year old Borough Park native, this story is a clear indicator of the lack of progress made with the Asian American community as whole. “This is why we’re often misunderstood in the workplace,” Jon gathered. “The way the media portrays us and the lack of acknowledgment of our personal struggles is frustrating. Our hard work and upbringing is often dismissed and minimized as a natural-given gift being born Asian.”
“We need more exposure. We need to start talking about important issues and support each other. It’s the only way forward,” he concluded.