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The City received a report of a violent racially-motivated hate crime that occurred downtown around 1:00 am on June 24, where a group of pedestrians used a racial slur and then lit a woman on fire through her car window as she stopped at an intersection. This is a horrifying and absolutely unacceptable crime that I will not tolerate in Madison. While we are still learning more about the details, current information suggests this may have been a premeditated crime targeted toward people of color, which makes the incident even more disturbing. I immediately reached out to the police when I learned of the incident, asking them to use all available resources to pursue the perpetrators as quickly as possible.

I spoke this morning with the victim’s family, expressing my deep sympathies for the harm this incident has caused, my wishes for her healing, and my commitment to do all I can to bring justice.

The Madison Police Department (MPD) has assigned a detective to investigate this case and I urge anybody with information about this crime to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or I have confirmed with Chief Wahl that this case is a priority.

This hate crime is one of multiple recent downtown incidents where people’s safety and lives have been at risk. It is completely unacceptable and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Everybody in Madison deserves to feel safe, and it is up to every single one of us to make that true. We must show kindness and compassion for each other, and we must care about the safety and well-being of those around us. I will do everything in my power to help support and protect people in Madison and quickly address any criminal activity that threatens our safety.