Police: Attack on Sanctuary Mayor a Possible Hate Crime

Authorities say they are investigating the recent assault of a Seattle-area mayor as a hate crime, possibly motivated by his support for immigrant communities and sanctuary city policies. 

Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta was attending a community event Saturday when a white male approached him, grabbed him by the neck, and pushed him to the ground. Burien Police Chief Ted Boe told reporters that the man told Matta he would not allow “your people to take over” and “take over our community."

Matta, elected in 2017, is the first Latino mayor in the city’s 25-year history. He has also been an outspoken supporter of sanctuary city policies, which have become a subject of national division and presidential ire.

Law enforcement personnel in Burien are prohibited from asking questions or collecting information about a person’s immigration status.


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