Tucson news station KVOA reported yesterday that Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva received a slip of papers with swastikas drawn on them and suspicious white powder at his Tucson office. Grijalva later told KVOA that the powder was toxic. The state lawmaker’s office was shut down after the envelope was discovered.
“It’s really distressing. You know, I understand politics, I understand what’s going on out there,” Grijalva told KVOA. “But for people to feel that their way of expression is to hurt other people physically and endanger other people physically is a really sad commentary on how we’re doing politics right now.”
News of the mysterious package comes amidst reports of rising hate crimes against Latinos in the country.
Grijalva is currently seeking his fifth term, and is no stranger to assaults on his office.
In June, a Phoenix man was indicted for threatening to kidnap and murder Grijalva. This July Grijalva’s Yuma office had to be shut down because someone shot a bullet through the window. The incident happened a day after Grijalva called for an end to the boycott of Arizona businesses.
Grijalva initially demanded the country boycott Arizona in the wake of SB 1070’s passage in April, but backed off of his demands when Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction that blocked part of the law from going into effect.
SB 1070 grants police officers the right to question and detain anyone they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country without papers. It creates a new class of state crimes that criminalizes people who are undocumented. The state of Arizona is facing five separate lawsuits to defend the law, including one from the federal government.