A Democrat Congressman from Michigan falsely linked Tuesday’s deadly shootings at three massage parlors in Georgia to anti-Asian racism, a motive specifically ruled out by police Wednesday morning.
“The surge in anti-Asian hate crimes is horrifying and unacceptable. We all play a role in supporting the [Asian American Pacific Islander] community. I’m glad the House passed a resolution to condemn racism against Asian Americans. The tragedy in Atlanta requires us all to speak out to #StopAsianHate,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI-05) said on Twitter.
The surge in anti-Asian hate crimes is horrifying and unacceptable.
We all play a role in supporting the #AAPI community. I'm glad the House passed a resolution to condemn racism against Asian Americans.
The tragedy in Atlanta requires us all to speak out to #StopAsianHate.
— Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) March 17, 2021
But Wednesday morning, before Kildee sent his inflammatory tweet, police ruled out race as the motive for the shooting. Rather, they said, the shooting was motivated by suspect Robert Alan Long’s sexual “issues.”
“Authorities said the suspect in the deadly rampage at three metro Atlanta spas targeted the businesses because he had ‘issues’ with sexual addiction and had been planning to commit more shootings before he was captured,” WSBTV reported.
“The Cherokee County Sheriff said the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, claimed the shootings were not racially motivated,” the report continued. “The sheriff described it as ‘targets of opportunity’ and said Long told investigators he wanted to ‘eliminate the temptation.'”
Long was taken into custody Wendesday night, and reportedly confessed to the killings during interrogation.
In late February, House Democrats renewed calls for bolstering hate crime laws to include the Asian American community. They said that there has been a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China.
Some have blamed former President Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the virus for the rise in such attacks, though there is no evidence that Trump supporters are responsible for the alleged uptick in such incidents.
The Michigan Star reached out to Kildee’s office for comment, but did not receive a response.
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