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Racist note at Elk Grove beauty salon prompts hate crime investigation

A racist note left at an black-owned hair salon in Elk Grove will be investigated as a possible hate crime, Elk Grove Police said Wednesday.

The note, found Tuesday morning in the door of the DreamGirls Fine Hair Imports, used a racial slur in reference to African Americans and said a “hunt” is “Coming soon.”

“Gonna get ya soon” continues the note, written in black crayon. It was found by a stylist entering the Elk Grove Boulevard salon, said owner Sharie Thompson.

Thompson said the note is the latest in a string of racist incidents at the salon. In the past eight years, people have pounded on the glass door while hurling racial slurs and have flung feces at the salon door. Thompson said she and her staff have seen trucks with Confederate flags outside the salon in Old Town Elk Grove.

She said she reported the previous incidents – without seeing a serious police response.

“We need to figure out how we are going to fix this,” she said Wednesday.

The Elk Grove Police Department has interviewed employees about the note and canvassed the area, looking for nearby surveillance cameras that may have filmed the suspect or suspects, said department spokesman Christopher Trim. The note will also be tested for fingerprints, Trim said.

“We are treating this as a possible hate crime,” Trim said. Ultimately, the district attorney will decide how to charge the case, if a suspect can be identified.

Elk Grove is one of the more diverse communities in America, according to various studies using U.S. Census Data. Non-Hispanic whites make up 38.1 percent of Elk Grove's population, with Asians accounting for 26.3 percent, Latinos 18 percent and blacks 11.2 percent, according to the 2010 U.S. census.

But that diversity diminishes in Old Town, Thompson said. Her salon – which was busy Wednesday – is located in an historic building and is surrounded by homes that have been there since the town was an 1850s stage coach stop.

An online posting of the note has generated more than 230 responses, 150 comments, and 248 shares.

People may be pulling together off-line, too. Thompson has received flowers and a note saying the community stands with her.

“It’s horrible. It’s revolting,” said Elk Grove councilman Pat Hume, whose district include Old Town.

He said he wants to talk to the police department after learning of previously reported incidents and is considering a community conversation in response.

“It definitely something that shouldn’t be swept under the rug,” Hume said.

Mike Hickman, who own the nearby Coins, Currency & Collectibles, said people need to stand up to racist attacks.

“I don’t think racists belong anywhere in this country,” Hickman said. “Those are good people. They haven’t messed with anyone. To me that is a hate crime.”

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