San Diego museum exhibit vandalized with anti-immigration messag - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego museum exhibit vandalized with anti-immigration messages

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UPDATE: Thursday December 1, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

On Thursday, December 1, 2016, San Diego Police informed CBS News 8 that the anti-immigration messages found on exhibitions at the New Americans Museum will be investigated as a hate crime. 

Previously, police had said the incident did not meet the hate crime criteria, but upon further review it will be investigated as such. 

Anyone with information is asked to call police. 

The original story is posted in its entirety below. 

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Anger and shock after anti-immigrant messages were found written on exhibition signs over the weekend at the New Americans Museum in Liberty Station.

According to police, the anti-immigration messages written on two displays do not legally constitute as a hate crime because there were no racial slurs.

Linda Caballero-Sotello, the New American's Museum Director, disagrees with police and said the museum was specifically targeted.

One of the written messages said, "too much immigration! Go back to your country, This one is ours!"

Another exhibit had "over population and crowding by immigration," scribbled.

Caballero-Sotello said the museum is a "place for reflection and conversation. It's a place not to feel shame to talk about where they came from."

Because the messages were removed they are also no longer considered vandalism, according to police.

In a video post, Caballero-Sotello said:

"We will not be discouraged, we're certainly better than that as a nation, but at the same time it's disheartening to see that a cultural space that talks about the contributions of immigrants can be so threatening to those that now feel empowered and emboldened to speak very negative and very divisive messages."

San Diego police said it has not seen an increase in hate crimes, but across the country reports of anti-immigration harassment since Donald Trump's win are up.

The executive director said she will continue to speak with police about the incident and do more training with staff and security.

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