Tell Local CA Legislators to Call for a Federal Hate Crime Investigation Into Murder of Shayan Mazroei
On September 7, 2015, 22-year-old Iranian-American, Shayan Mazroei, was stabbed to death by Craig Tanber, 37, a member of an Orange County white supremacist gang, “PEN1,” outside a Laguna Niguel bar. Shayan was a student at Saddleback College, where he was studying mechanical engineering, and had just opened his own business. He was also his parent’s only child.
According to eyewitness accounts, the sequence of events leading to the fatal stabbing of Shayan began when Tanber’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Thornburg, noticed a tattoo on Shayan’s forearm, which read “love” in Farsi script. Thornburg associated Shayan’s tattoo to the Arabic script often used in ISIS videos and imagery, and called him a “terrorist.” Several witnesses recall Thornburg instigating a confrontation between Tanber and Shayan, and heard her yelling racial insults at him. Witnesses also saw Thornburg spitting in Shayan’s face before he was stabbed to death by Tanber. Yet, Elizabeth Thornburg remains free and has not been charged in connection with the murder of Shayan Mazroei.
Shayan’s murder was very likely motivated by Islamophobia and a fundamental misunderstanding of his tattoo. Shayan was ostensibly targeted and killed because of his race, religion, and national origin. Such senseless acts of hate have no room in the United States of America. Call on local Orange County officials to urge the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to undertake an open and rigorous federal hate crime investigation into Shayan’s killing, including the role of Thornburg in allegedly instigating the altercation.
To join us in demanding #JusticeForShayan, please fill out the form on this page to contact local CA officials.