Jonathan Lopez, 29, wrote a racist and homophobic letter to himself, claiming to the police that it had been left anonymous
An Oregon politician admitted to writing a racist and homophobic letter to himself after previously claiming he was left anonymously in his letterbox.
Jonathan Lopez, 29, said he received the letter in late June, warning him that he was not welcome in the area and that people like him are being murdered in Umatilla County.
It was signed, “Sincerely, America.”
The Hermiston police revealed on Monday that Lopez had concluded from their investigation that he himself wrote the hate-filled tirade and made false statements to the police and on social media.
Police say the criminal investigation into the harassment has now closed, but Lopez could be charged with initiating a false police report.
Lopez, who is Latino, claims he never intended to file a police report and only wanted to use the fake letter as an example, but the case “ got out of hand. ”
“This alleged incident has been thoroughly investigated from the beginning,” said police chief Jason Edmiston East Oregonian.
“Our investigation revealed that Mr. Lopez wrote the letter himself and made false statements to the police and social media.”
The politician claimed to have received the racist letter from an anonymous person on June 23.
The next day, he told the police and the local media that he did not know who sent him and found him in the mailbox.
The police announced on Monday that Lopez had written the letter himself and made false statements to the police. The case was referred to the Umatilla County prosecutor
He publicly shared the letter to Facebook, with certain sections blurred, claiming he had been told he was “not welcome here.”
“F ** k you and your n **** r and queer loving yourself,” read the fake letter.
“America is only for the big ones. You and your communist liberal community can mess around and rot in hell.
“Umatilla County kills people like you and gets dumped in the fields and the river. That’s why our crops are the best! Don’t waste your time trying to become something in this province, we will make sure you never win and your family suffers along with all the f *** g Mexicans in the area! it continued.
“America is for the godly, pro-gun, pro-life people who refuse to be controlled by the government. There is no place here for people like you. ‘
In a post to the letter, Lopez wrote that he “had no grudge for whoever wrote this.”
“As an American-born man who has served in the USCG, fire and rescue services, I am also proud of where my parents and grandparents were born and raised, Mexico,” Lopez added.
“I have lived a life full of obstacles and challenges, including racism. There is no room or tolerance for that. ‘
He had removed his social media profiles since Wednesday.
Lopez has now admitted in writing and orally that the letter was fake, KOMO News reported.
Edmiston said he was “disgusted” when he learned that Lopez was responsible for the letter and that his actions “added unnecessarily” to racial tensions across the country.
“The time spent on this fictional claim means that time is being wasted on other things, not to mention the unnecessary tension that exists in our country today,” he said.
“As a lifelong resident of this diverse community, I am disgusted that anyone would try to casually pursue their personal ambitions at the risk of others.”
Lopez ran in primary in May 2020 for a seat on the Umatilla County Supervisory Board and finished fourth. Police allege he may also have broken the law with allegedly false claims he made in the U.S. Coast Guard provided to the election voter guide
Lopez tried to defend himself by telling the East Oregonian that he “never intended to mislead the public” or even file a police report.
He claims he only wanted to use the letter to talk to the police about racism in the province.
“I never intended to file a report, it just came out,” he said.
Hermiston police said they referred the case to the Umatilla County district attorney.
Initiating a false report is a class A crime in Oregon.
They also send information about possible election fraud amid claims that Lopez provided false references during his run-up to the county commissioner.
The department says Lopez made potentially fraudulent statements about his background and training in the May 2020 Voter’s Guide when he was running for election to a seat on the Umatilla County supervisory board.
Edmiston said police have learned that Lopez may not have served in the United States Coast Guard, as he claimed. If it is a lie, it would violate the 2013 Stolen Courage Act.
Lopez came in fourth in the May primary.
East Oregoni reports that he is a member of the city of Hermiston’s Spanish Advisory Committee.
It also says that Lopez is an associate pastor at Hermiston’s Living Springs Apostolic Church and the chief executive officer of the Einstein Learning Center.
He was born in Los Angeles and moved to Virginia when he was ten.
Lopez has only lived in Umatilla County since 2017.