News » Citydesk

UPDATE: WSU Vandalism Incident Being Investigated as a Hate Crime

by


UPDATE:
Nov. 15, 2016

Officials at the Pullman Police Department in Washington confirmed Monday they are now investigating recent vandalism on the campus of Washington State University as a hate crime.

The incident came onto the radar of law enforcement when passersby noticed a string of ugly slurs painted on the vehicle of Washington State undergraduate John Kraus, including the words "Die Fag" and "Go 2 Hell."

A number of concerned citizens contacted the Pullman Police Department, asking for help in cleaning the graffiti from the car, and an officer helped Kraus wax off some of the paint that had been difficult to remove.

Meanwhile, KREM-TV reports Pullman police are asking anyone who may have information regarding the incident to come forward and assist their investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY: Nov. 13, 2016

Washington State University student John Kraus posted pictures of his vehicle on his Facebook page. - JOHN KRAUS, VIA FACEBOOK
  • John Kraus, via Facebook
  • Washington State University student John Kraus posted pictures of his vehicle on his Facebook page.
Messages of hate have reared up on the campuses of two northwest public universities.

In Pullman, Wash., Washington State University student John Kraus found his car covered in painted messages of "Die Fag," "Fag," Go 2 Hell" and "Faggot!"

Kraus said it's not the first time he's been victimized, but told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that he believed the most recent incident was tied to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Trump's candidacy was typified by racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic remarks.

"I think it’s happening because he was elected and all those people are thinking it’s validation to discriminate against those people because the man in our highest elected office said those things," said Kraus.

Kraus posted Images of his vehicle online, via Facebook.

Fellow student James Allsup, president of the Washington State College Republicans, challenged the "authenticity" of the vandalism, writing on Facebook, “Well well well, what do we have here. Someone upset about Trump’s blowout victory is desperate to make themselves a victim an falsifies a hate crime. Anybody surprised?”

Allsup deleted the Facebook post later, but not before it had gone viral.
FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT
  • Facebook screenshot
Meanwhile in Eugene, Ore., the police chief at the University of Oregon said he has increased patrols and conducted campus safety walks, telling The Oregonian, "I have talked to many students and they are concerned about their safety."

Chief Mathew Carmichael's comments come fewer than two weeks after a U of O law professor made the choice to dress in blackface for Halloween and reports of other people wearing blackface on campus.

"In light of the election results and the most recent blackface students, our students of color need to know they are not alone," Nike Greene, parent of a U of O student, told The Oregonian. "The university needs to know that they must aggressively continue to demonstrate, implement and model a safe climate."

The events triggered a Nov. 11 rally on campus, led by black student leaders at the university, according to The Oregonian.

"Many of us feel like mourning, and [we] feel hopeless and burned out," student Ashley Campbell told hundreds of students and faculty gathered Friday's on-campus rally.