Coconino County condemns hate speech, incitement of violence against Navajos
FLAGTAFF, Ariz. — On April 28, Coconino County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation condemning recent hate speech and incitement of violence against Navajo people.
“Coconino County is the traditional homeland of multiple Indigenous communities who deserve respect and tolerance in response during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the county stated. “Coconino County whole heartedly embraces diversity especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which poses as a serious threat to all County residents regardless of race, gender, border or religion.”
On April 7, Page Police Department arrested Daniel Franzen, 34, after he posted a racist social media post accusing Navajo people of carrying the coronavirus and calling for their deaths.
Frazen was taken into custody on suspicion of attempting to incite an act of terrorism.
Police say they received reports April 6 of a Facebook post that urged people to use “lethal force” against the Navajo community because they were “100 percent infected” with COVID-19.
Investigators say they traced the post to Franzen. He was later booked into Coconino County jail.
In a statement, Page police said any unlawful hate speech will be “aggressively investigated.” Authorities also said that anyone who makes retaliatory threats against the suspect would be subject to investigation as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this story