'This Was a Hate Crime': Museum Executive Director - NBC 7 San Diego

'This Was a Hate Crime': Museum Executive Director

Executive Director Linda Sotelo believes the vandalism was a direct attack on the museum and its mission.

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    'This Was a Hate Crime': Museum Executive Director

    As NBC 7's Candice Nguyen reports, the museum's executive director believes the vandalism was a direct attack on the museum and its mission. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016)

    Staff at the New Americans Museum in Liberty Station are re-evaluating their security and surveillance systems after a vandal wrote anti-immigration slurs on two of their signs.

    The incident happened sometime Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. Executive Director Linda Sotelo believes the vandalism was a direct attack on the museum and its mission.

    “The New Americans Museum is a place that celebrates the contributions of all immigrants to our nation’s fabric,” Sotelo said. “When I first saw it, I was shaken to be honest. It was very deliberate. It was very composed. It was well-written. They took their time doing it.”

    Part of the message written in black marker read: “Go back to your country.”

    It has since been removed.

    “There was also a boldness to the message. The way it was done. In broad daylight, in a public space, with children and families walking by there,” Sotelo said.

    The museum only has cameras in their galleries so surveillance cameras did not catch the act. The signs are located in the public hallways, near an exit.

    Sotelo said she contacted San Diego police who are investigating. She also notified the FBI.

    “We see this as a hate crime, and we’re taking it very seriously,” she said.

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