Hate crime charges recommended for Marysville threat against student
Detectives in Snohomish County have completed an investigation into a Lake Stevens man who allegedly threatened to kill minorities in a social media post on a Marysville student’s page.
Marysville Police Chief Erik Scairpon said on Friday that the sheriff’s office has sent the case to the county prosecutor’s office and is recommending the man be charged with a hate crime.
Chief Scairpon released a statement on Friday. In part:
The Marysville Police Department has been in regular proactive communication with members of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color) community even before these crimes occurred. Our involvement in community meetings to address hate and racism in our community signifies our firm commitment to work with our community to call out racism and hate when we see it and address racism appropriately with criminal and other consequences when appropriate.
We are committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with members of our BIPOC community to help support and amplify their voices and leadership in matters related to race and equity. We will continue to take a strong stance in addressing hate and racism and supporting a safe community.
According to the Everett Herald, the threat was posted in January, shortly after another incident of racist threats in the Marysville School District. The NAACP of Snohomish County reports that the photo showed a white man’s hand holding a gun with the caption “Killing minorities soon.”
The 20-year-old man is the son of a Marysville Police patrol officer. The department told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show that the gun in the photo is a pellet gun that belongs to the man, not the officer. It’s been transferred to to the sheriff’s major crimes unit for investigation.
“We note that while this was a pellet gun, it does not detract from the seriousness of this case or the threat felt from the victim’s family or community,” Chief Scairpon wrote in an email to the show.
He added that the officer is not under an internal investigation or criminal investigation connected to the incident and that he’s cooperated with the investigation.
“The officer has demonstrated a track record of attempting to seek help and accountability for his son, who has a history of generating racial incidents,” Scairpon said in the email.
The January incident follows an incident in December 2020 where two students reportedly talked in an online group about killing Black peers, the Everett Herald reports. No charges were filed and the boys were referred to a diversion program after consultation with the family of the targeted classmate.
A statement from the Marysville School District says it cannot share specific details involving the discipline of students, but did outline the school district’s steps for responding to a hate incident or threat. Read the full letter here.
Activists planned a news conference at Marysville’s Comeford Park on Saturday in support of the children involved. Parents and community members say they’re outraged the students are still in school.
“The Marysville School District has lied to our BIPOC community about the student who is connected to two death threats and why he remains in school,” a news release states. “The Marysville School District did not notify the Marysville School District immediately when the second death threat happened which included a picture of a gun.”
Dr. Janice Greene, NAACP Snohomish County president, called for action and a plan to prevent similar incidents in the future, as well as a zero tolerance policy for hate crimes from all local school districts.