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No racism seen one year after Chai Vang trial

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ASHLAND - Almost a year after the murder trial of Hmong hunter Chai Vang, the state's attorney general said Wednesday there hasn't been the racist backlash that some people feared.

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The stunning killings of six hunters and wounding of two others in the northwoods of Sawyer County almost two years ago by a man from St. Paul generated lots of emotion.

Speaking to the Badger State Sheriff's Association in Ashland, Peg Lautenschlager, state attorney general, says that emotion did not transfer into a racial backlash against Hmong people.

At last year's trial, only one protester was vocally racist outside the courtroom.

Lautenschlager says what was most meaningful to her during that trial was when several of the teenage children of the victims' family members were so upset with the protestor that they went over and said 'this isn't a place for racism.' She says they asked him to move and said he wasn't paying their family members any respect.

She added that it's a credit to people that the last hunting season went off without incident as well. She says there was a chilling effect that took place afterwards and so many people who were dumbfounded by the magnitude of this crime and the impact that it had.

Lautenschlager said hunting season brings with it so much cultural tradition that out of respect for that tradition, there was a very low-key, quiet hunting season. She hopes that will continue when deer hunters head to the woods again in November.

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