PORT ORCHARD — On the heels of a suspected hate crime involving property defacement and anti-Asian graffiti at a residence in Port Orchard, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners issued a statement condemning hateful actions against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The statement reads as follows:
The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners is deeply saddened by the recent violence perpetrated against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. From the massacre in Atlanta at Asian American-owned and populated businesses to the physical attacks on elders in San Francisco, Oakland, New York City, and unfortunately, many more, including recent racially motivated incidents in Kitsap County. It is disheartening we write a statement of solidarity for the AAPI community just nine months after our similar letter to the editor, issued in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
These attacks emerged in the wake of statements attempting to falsely ascribe blame to AAPI people for the spread of COVID-19 and we unequivocally stand alongside our AAPI neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family during this time. We also call on county residents to condemn this violence and accompanying harassment that puts our AAPI communities at risk.
We must not only stand by the APPI community today but commit to the long-term work of building an inclusive multiracial community where marginalized communities thrive and are valued as an essential part of the diverse fabric of America.
Commissioner Robert Gelder, Chair; Commissioner Edward E. Wolfe; Commissioner Charlotte Garrido
Police officials are investigating a report of property destruction and graffiti as a possible instance of an anti-Asian hate crime.
A property destruction incident described as “allegedly racially biased” took place March 28 in the city in the early morning hours, according to the Port Orchard Police Department. The incident involved the spray painting of “AZN,” which possibly might be an abbreviation for Asian, on the victim’s vehicle. The victim’s garage door was also marked up with graffiti.
“While it is still too early to determine if the crime is motivated by hate or racial bias, the Port Orchard Police Department takes all allegations seriously,” a department press release said.
“This is an active investigation. We are still working it,” Police Chief Matt Brown told Kitsap Daily News.
The vandalism incident took place at a home in the 2100 block of Caleb Place Southeast of Port Orchard. The suspect used red spray paint to write the letters on the vehicle and deface the house. The suspect is described by police as standing between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-6 tall with a thin build and wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with black pants.