Nancy Arechiga is a 52-year-old San Leandro, California, woman identified by police as the person caught on camera posting a lengthy, handwritten racist letter on multiple neighbors’ doors over the weekend. One of the woman’s targeted victims, Trinny Wynn, shared photos of the suspect, along with pictures of the xenophobic letter, to help identify her
Wynn wrote on Facebook, “This happened today, a white woman wearing a USA beanie targeted People of color homes with this letter at their front doors. This occurred in a quiet and well diverse middle-class community in San Leandro. My family’s house was also targeted… We were able to capture all this on camera. There is no room for this hateful and despicable behavior in this society. If you recognize this woman, please report it to the police.”
The letter, which was dated May 22, reads: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, inspire domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
With certain words underlined for emphasis, the letter said, “If you are a woman or man and was born in other country, return, go back, to your land immediately, fast, with urgency. If you are a woman was born in other Country takes your children with you, under 21 years old. Consider a Bless of God.”
Closing out the note, the writer urges her neighbors to move out of their house so a white person can move in. She writes, “Do ordain to you to leave this house. One American, white, brace, that serves the Nation of USA is going to live here.”
On Twitter, Bob Rutledge posted about a second letter getting posted. He tweeted, “An hour ago Ms. Wynn added this photo of a second letter, posted (on May 21) on a tree near her home: “You have until [Saturday] 10:30am to leave this country. In this place no asian allowed.”
Arechiga was Arrested on a Charge Accusing Her of Posting ‘Inappropriate Messages That Instilled Fear & Intimidation’
San Leandro is a large suburban town in Alameda County, located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. The Mayor of San Leandro, Pauline Cutter, released the following statement on Saturday:
I am aware of reports that a woman was posting flyers containing anti-Asian message at residences and public places in our community yesterday. I’d like to commend our Police Department for taking this situation extremely seriously. They were able to identify the person responsible within a matter of hours and take appropriate action right away.
The City of San Leandro is committed to being a welcoming place for everyone. There is no place for hate in our community.
Former Mayor Stephen Cassidy was also involved in tracking down Arechiga, after Rutledge reached out to him for help. Cassidy responded to Rutledge’s tweet saying, “Thanks Bob for the message. I have forwarded the Facebook post to the Chief of Police and copied Mayor Cutter on my message. I requested that an investigation be undertaken of the perpetrator for committing a hate crime.”
The San Leandro Police Department put out a letter to the community on Saturday saying the woman in the video was identified as Nancy Arechiga, 52, a local resident of San Leandro. Police said Arechiga was arrested Friday evening. She was booked into Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. However, due to coronavirus and its effect on the state’s bail schedule, Arechega was cited and released from custody.
San Leandro Police Police Lieutenant Isaac Benabou said, “San Leandro is a community of beautifully diverse people, who share a common desire to live in harmony, and free from intimidation. We welcome people’s rights to express themselves, but not in a manner that infringes upon a community’s sense of security and wellbeing.”
Further details about the charges against Arechiga were not immediately available.