Advocacy Groups Seek Hate Crime Charges For Milwaukee Man Found Mentally Incompetent In Killings

Man Accused Of Killing Hmong, Puerto Rican Neighbors To Get Mental Treatment


A Milwaukee man charged in connection with three homicides has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial, but some advocacy groups said a hate crime charge might eventually be justified.

A Milwaukee County judge has accepted a court-ordered mental health evaluation of defendant Dan Popp and ruled that Popp doesn’t have the ability to understand the homicide charges and aid in his defense. Police said Popp, who is white, killed a Hmong couple and a Puerto Rican man last month in their apartment complex after making a racist comment. Popp will be treated at a mental health facility.

Darryl Morin, of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said if Popp’s condition improves, there should be a hate crime charge added.

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“There’s always a degree of mental illness in every hate crime,” Morin said. “But we still believe the primary driver of this was one of hate and race, ethnicity and language.”

Some legal experts said Popp would already face life in prison if found guilty of the homicide charges.

Morin said that doesn’t mean a hate crime charge should be ignored.

“Our hope is that justice is served,” said Morin. “It is our feeling that based on the conversations he had that hate was the motivating driver there.”

About 50 relatives and friends of the Hmong victims are also calling for hate crime charges.