The FBI is investigating an alleged assault of a Hispanic resident of Lansing on the south side two weeks ago as a hate crime, city officials said Tuesday.
“We will not tolerate hate crimes here in the city of Lansing,” Yankowski said, joined by Mayor Virg Bernero and FBI agent Ted Docks at a press conference. “We take them seriously and we will use all of our available resources to investigate — including state and federal as well as community resources.”
Docks, supervisory senior resident agent for the FBI in Lansing, said his office has notified the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan of the incident.
An undocumented immigrant said he was assaulted on July 5 near the corner of Denver and Cedar streets in Lansing. Yankowski confirmed officers responded to an assault call at about 11:40 p.m. They found the victim “with obvious signs of assault” and immediately instigated a hate crimes investigation. Police are withholding additional details on the crime while they investigate.
The victim, who spoke exclusively to City Pulse last week, said two white assailants smelled of alcohol. He said they made reference to President Donald Trump, then assaulted him. He said they then stapled a note on his stomach that said, “Go back to Mexico, wetback.” Police confirmed last week a note was found “on” the victim snd that it contained a racial slur.
No suspects have been arrested, but law enforcement released a sketch of one suspect Tuesday. Yankowski is asking anyone with information to call the Lansing Police Department, Crime Stoppers or the FBI. A reward of at least $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible, Yankowski confirmed.
Yankowski spoke while flanked by representatives of the Lansing Association for Human Rights, Latino Leaders for the Enhancement of Advocacy and Development, Action of Greater Lansing, Black Lives Matter and more.
Bernero announced his intentions to bring the city into a national movement called “City of Kindness.” It strives to “inspire kindness in our world,” according to the organization’s website.
“Kindness is a daily decision,” Bernero reminded a crowd of 50 at the press conference. “It has to happen everyday. You just don’t know what a difference your act of kindness could make.”