Update: Police investigating dead cat left outside Chinese American butcher shop as potential hate crime

Local News

The Latest (Friday, Feb. 26):

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg released a statement on Twitter regarding the incident at Mad Butcher Meat Company.

In his statement, the mayor confirmed Sacramento police are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.

I am appalled by the growing number of incidents of bias and crimes targeting members of our Asian-Pacific Islander community. We cannot tolerate such mindless hatred. Thank you to @SacPolice for investigating the recent incident outside a butcher shop as a potential hate crime.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Original story below:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The owner of a Sacramento butcher shop is looking for help identifying a man who left a dead cat in their parking lot Monday night.

Mad Butcher Meat Company has been in business for more than 30 years in Sacramento, with the last five on Florin Perkins Road.

“We’re trying to make a living. That’s all we’re trying to do here. We’re just trying to sell meat. That’s it,” owner Kelly Shum told FOX40 Tuesday.

Shum now runs the business her parents founded, and she said the past year has been difficult because of an increase in anti-Asian sentiment directed at the business.

“Yeah, and it’s always something about like, ‘You guys are dirty or you’re diseased.’ And we get calls all the time like, ‘Oh, do you guys sell bat soup?’” Shum said. “I feel like I have to work, like 40 times as hard to be seen as on the same level as the other butcher shops in the area. So, we increased our social media presence, we hired a security guard who you see out front now. Like, that’s why. Most butcher shops, when you go in, you don’t see a security guard at the very front.”

Monday night, even with the security guard on duty, somebody left a disturbing delivery in the parking lot of the business.

Shum said the man first made a cash purchase inside the store.

“That’s him right there,” Shum said identifying a gray-haired man standing at the counter in her shop’s surveillance video.

From an exterior camera, video shows the man pull a box out of the bed of a pick-up truck and dump it in the parking lot.

Shum said inside that box was a dead, mutilated cat.

“The box was open. Everyone could see it,” she recalled.

Shum said that in the past she’s been reluctant to go public about incidents of discrimination.

“You know, you just try to keep your head down. You try to keep working through it. And it’s a year later. It’s literally a year later and someone’s dropping off dead cats in my parking lot,” she said.

With this incident, she posted the video on social media along with a description of what happened.

“Find him please. Please help me find this guy because I can’t take it anymore,” she said.

FOX40 reached out to Shum after seeing the social media posts.

“And I like kind of looked at your phone number for a little bit, and I didn’t really want to call you back,” she said.

But ultimately, she decided it was time to speak out.

“I don’t think I can keep doing what I’ve been doing for the last year, which is keep my head down and try not to be public that we’re Chinese,” Shum explained. “And I don’t want to feel not proud of my culture, and I don’t want to not feel proud of the work that we do here because I am proud of the work that we do here. I’m proud of everyone that works here and I’m proud of the staff that we have and I’m proud of everything that we have here.”

Shum said she filled out an online report Tuesday with Sacramento police and attached links to the surveillance video.

Sacramento police did not have any additional information to release on the case.

Sacramento City Councilwoman Mai Vang released a statement Thursday regarding the incident:

Attacks on Asian Americans are on the rise across the nation and, unfortunately, Sacramento must also confront this xenophobia. The crime committed against the owners of the Mad Butcher Meat Company on Monday night was horrific and this reprehensible act must be strongly condemned.  

Not only was an animal violently abused, but it was used to threaten and provoke fear at an Asian American owned business in Sacramento. Our city has committed to racial equity and justice – which means confronting the perpetrators of hate and acknowledging the trauma and suffering experienced by victims.  

As a city and as a community, we must work collectively to recognize the humanity of all people and stand united against all acts of hatred and bigotry. Our residents must not live in fear for their safety. I look forward to working on community-led solutions to keep us safe.

Councilwoman Mai Vang

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