Man who left a dead cat in front of Asian-owned business is investigated for a possible hate crime

Map of Sacramento with a label that reads dead cat left at butcher shop
Caught on video, the incident occurred Monday evening in Sacramento outside Mad Butcher Meat Co., whose owners are of Chinese descent, police said.
(Los Angeles Times)
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An incident involving a man leaving a box containing a mutilated cat carcass outside an Asian family-run butcher shop in Sacramento is being investigated as a possible hate crime, authorities said.

Caught on video surveillance tape, the incident occurred Monday evening outside Mad Butcher Meat Co., whose owners are of Chinese descent, according to the Sacramento Police Department, which is investigating the incident as a possible bias or hate-related crime.

“Not only was an animal violently abused, but it was used to threaten and provoke fear at an Asian American-owned business in Sacramento,” said Councilwoman Mai Vang. “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.”


The owners of Mad Butcher Meat Co. posted on the shop’s social media page that they were “shaken and especially disappointed” by the incident. “It is impossible for us to fully discuss this incident without feeling an overwhelming amount of emotion,” they said.

The shop — owned by Michael and Diana Shum’s family for more than 30 years — thanked the community for the “calls, hugs, support, and community organizing” in a social media post Wednesday. “We are very blessed to have you guys as our family.”

The incident comes amid a string of attacks on Asians and Asian Americans, many of them against people who are elderly or otherwise vulnerable. Oakland’s Chinatown has been the scene of a series of attacks and thefts that have left the community on edge.

California lawmakers approved on Monday $1.4 million in one-time funding to support academic efforts to report and track anti-Asian incidents, which have surged nationwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.