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St. Paul Hmong Museum Vandalized

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - St. Paul police responded to the Hmong Cultural Center Museum Wednesday morning after it had been vandalized overnight.

Program Director Mark Pfeifer arrived at his work on University Avenue to discover it covered in white paint. Pfeifer reported the vandalism to SPPD who deployed officers to document the criminal damage.

Plywood boards painted yellow were put up along the outside of the building in response to the unrest after George Floyd's murder. The center decorated the boards with a black pride poem by Tish Jones.

(Photo Credit: Mark Pfeifer)

According to SPPD, a group of three people has been seen on surveillance footage splashing white paint over the signs and painting the phrase, "life, liberty, victory" around 3:45 a.m.

(Photo Credit: Mark Pfeifer)

Pfeifer said the paint caused damage to the center's new sign and lock system.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the incident calling it "racist vandalism" on Wednesday evening.

"We call on local, state and national law enforcement authorities to treat this incident as a hate crime and for elected officials to condemn it and work to pass hate crime legislation that has been outlined by many civil rights organizations," said CAIR-MN's Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.

No arrests have been made and the case remains under investigation.

On Friday, the Minnesota Asian Pacific Legislative Caucus condemned the vandalism:

"The Minnesota Asian Pacific (MAP) Caucus is saddened to learn that the Hmong Cultural Center was vandalized just days after it hosted its first visitors. We condemn such acts and extend our full support to the Hmong community and neighbors. We are deeply troubled that words and slogans associated with a white supremacist movement were found on the storefront's vandalized panels. We call on Minnesotans to condemn such acts of cowardness and bigotry."

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