(The Center Square) – Seattle and the Washington State Department of Commerce are funding $100,000 to clean up vandalism resulting from a hate crime.
The Wing Luke Museum in Seattle’s Chinatown International District is an art and history museum that focuses on the culture, art and history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. On Sept. 14, the building’s physical structure was damaged by a 76-year-old man named Craig Milne, who was caught on camera breaking the museum’s windows with a sledgehammer.
Milne was charged with a hate crime as a result of his actions.
The combined $100,000 in funding will be used to remedy the damages caused by Milne. In a news release, Washington State Department of Commerce Director Mike Fong said the department feels a “deep sense of responsibility” to not only help repair the damages caused to the museum, but to engage in “meaningful discussions about what we must do together to stem the troubling rise in hate crimes and intolerance in our communities.”
Jamie Housen, director of communications at the Seattle Mayor’s Office, told The Center Square that the city and the Department of Commerce split the $100,000 evenly. The city’s $50,000 for the Wing Luke Museum repairs come from the Seattle Office of Economic Development.
The Department of Commerce did not provide The Center Square further details on the source of its $50,000 in funds at the time of publication.
Statistics from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office show that there have been 20 hate crime filings in the county from January through August.
In August, the Center Square recently reported on an uptick in robberies that targeted older Asian American residents living in the city’s South Precinct. The Seattle Police Department stated that there were 14 reported incidents of pattern robberies in the South Precinct from June through Aug. 25. The department suspects more robberies have gone unreported.
Mayor Bruce Harrell signaled a commitment to creating a welcoming city for all people in Seattle.
“It’s our obligation to demonstrate that there is no place for hate in the city of Seattle or anywhere in Washington,” Harrell said. “[Asian American and Pacific Islander] communities deserve to feel safe and welcome, and unwarranted attacks on community members, businesses, and cultural staples like the Wing Luke Museum are wholly unacceptable.”