Police in California investigate ‘possible hate crime’ against Chinese-American

Devil horns and a swastika were scrawled on a poster featuring Justin Sha, a 25-year-old lawyer who is running for the city council

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 8:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 9:26pm

Police in Fremont, California are investigating a “possible hate crime” after a Chinese-American political candidate’s campaign poster was vandalised with Nazi-themed graffiti, the East Bay Times on Saturday.

Devil horns and a swastika were scrawled on a poster featuring Justin Sha, a 25-year-old lawyer who is running for the city council.

Sha complained about his posters being defaced on Facebook.

“I felt a complicated mixture of sadness, pain and anger,” he said in an interview.

“This was made worse because my father saw the vandalised signs before I did. He was very emotional and unsuccessfully tried to erase the swastika symbol with his finger.”

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More than 50 per cent of Fremont’s population is Asian while more than 40 per cent are foreign born, according to the 2010 Bay Area census.

Police in the city said on Sunday they had launched an investigation into the incident.

“We are investigating this as a vandalism and possible hate crime,” police said on Facebook. “We hope to provide an update early in the week as the investigation progresses.”

Police spokesperson Gina Bosques was quoted by the newspaper as saying police were treating it as a “possible hate crime”.

“This is definitely cause for concern. Fremont is a very welcoming community and we celebrate diversity,” she said.

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Sha is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings law school and Dartmouth College, one of America’s Ivy League universities.

He is running for the council on a progressive platform, combating traffic congestion and school overcrowding.

Fremont is located in the California’s Bay Area, next to the city of San Jose, and has a population of more than 230,000.