Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s life threatened outside her home

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. Photo: Twitter @RepJayapal

A man who threatened Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, July 9, 2022, lives barely half a mile from her home, according to Seattle Times. He has been arrested for allegedly threatening to kill Rep. Jayapal, news reports said.

The 48 year-old man, whose name has not be revealed, was arrested outside her home standing in the middle of the street with a .40 caliber handgun at his waist, Seattle Times reported. Rep. Jayapal who was inside her home with her family, called 911.

A neighbor told Seattle Times she heard the man yell words such as “Go back to India, I’m going to kill you,” the paper quoted her statement. The neighbor also said she hear the man drive by the Jayapal residence three times.

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Congresswoman Jayapal is a highly regarded Democratic Party leader and represents the 7th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.

The man who was arrested remains in jail on a $500,000 bail. Prosecutors had also asked for an anti-harassment order to protect Rep. Jayapal but the Judge denied that order, the spokesperson for prosecutors is quoted saying in the Times report.

“We are grateful that Representative Jayapal and her family are safe, but we are horrified that they had to endure this terrifying hate crime,” Neil Makhija, executive director of Indian-American Impact, an advocacy organization. “There should be no place for hate in our country, and Representative Jayapal and her family should not have to live in fear. Yet today, we see it everywhere.”

Makhija went on to say there have been over 11,000 hate incidents against Asian Americans last year and nearly 600 more every month.

“These hate crimes are rarely reported on the news – even this story about a member of Congress has barely been covered by national media,” Makhija maintained, and voiced concern that a request for criminal harassment protection order was denied by the judge despite the “aggressive nature” of the incident.

“We urge the US Capitol Police and FBI to conduct a thorough and exhaustive investigation into this incident and implement all necessary safety measures to ensure Rep. Jayapal and other AAPI members of Congress are safe in their respective districts and in Washington, D.C.,” Makhija.

In a statement emailed to Seattle Times, Siham Zniber, Jayapal’s spokesperson said, “Congresswoman Jayapal confirms that incidents occurred at her Seattle home on Saturday night when she was present. The Congresswoman and her family are safe and appreciate the many calls and good wishes she is receiving from constituents.”

The statement went on to say Jayapal was very grateful for the “swift and professional response from the Seattle Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the FBI investigators who are working together diligently on the investigation and ensuring that she and her family stay safe.” The statement also added that Rep. Jayapal declined comment as the investigation is ongoing.

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