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Caught On Camera: Video Shows Man Defacing San Francisco Murals Dedicated To Asian Culture

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The already struggling San Francisco Chinatown business community is taking another hit. Murals dedicated to celebrating Asian cultures have been vandalized twice within a month's time.

New surveillance video shows a man wearing a captain's hat strolling through Jack Kerouac Alley, which connects Chinatown and North Beach, on May 8th. He appears to pull out a writing instrument from a bag, before he defaces the wall of murals.

A San Francisco artist known as "MaCannaYo" shared photos with KPIX of markings on her work.

She said that on April 12th, a man she believes is the same person, is seen on camera vandalizing murals. Surveillance video shows him writing on Bruce Lee's face. He wrote "Loose Lee" and "I'll be back."

"You should be ashamed of yourself," said MaCannaYo. "This is a very strong community. It's the oldest Chinatown in the United States, and you have no right to deface symbolic symbols like Bruce Lee, and Cai Shen, the god of wealth and prosperity."

She said she has used her own funds to clean off much of the graffiti, but she needs more to fully restore the work. She created a GoFundMe page to help pay for supplies, including anti-graffiti coating, which is pricey.

Earlier this year, she and other artists had donated their time and talent to uplift the community and celebrate the Year of the Ox. She said the alley was covered with graffiti before they completed two months of work.

"It's very shocking that after all the work and the beautification that a lot of business owners are putting into their business, we continue to see crime - laundry shops being broken into, glasses being broken, people being attacked," she added.

MaCannaYo said she is meeting with an SFPD officer Wednesday to discuss the case. She has already shared video evidence with the department.

In response to the rise in hate crimes in California, Attorney General Rob Bonta launched the Racial Justice Bureau within the State Department of Justice on Tuesday.

"We're prioritizing the tools that we have, the legal tools, the ability and power and influence we have to defend and support and uplift civil rights," he said in a virtual press conference. "We're making sure that our school climates are fair and it's safe and supportive, making sure that in the middle of this horrific hate crimes crisis, when it comes to the API community, that we're stepping in and stepping up to help to prevent and educate on the front end."

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