Public officials, civil rights groups and residents of Santa Fe, New Mexico, are showing support for a local Indian restaurant that was vandalized with racist slurs and expletives.
At least five GoFundMe campaigns have been set up to support India Palace, which was defaced with graffiti, including phrases like “White power,” “Trump 2020,” and "I hate sand n------," according to the Santa Fe Police Department. Officials say they believe the incident occurred Sunday evening.
Police in Santa Fe told NBC Asian America that they are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime. “We feel the lives of the workers and others in the report could be in danger because of the nature of the comments left behind,” a police spokesperson, Greg Gurule, said.
Graffiti covered the restaurant’s walls, doors and tables, the report said. Shards of broken plates and overturned furniture littered the floors. A dining table had “go back” written on it. Others had silhouettes of male genitalia.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she was “absolutely heartbroken and disgusted by this racist attack.”
Paper Dosa, a nearby Indian restaurant, raised close to $57,000 for India Palace, a family-owned restaurant that sustained more than $100,000 in damage, police said.
Baljot John Singh, India Palace's general manager and the owner's son, told KRNE News that he was overwhelmed by the support for his father’s restaurant and that they hope to reopen next week.
Singh said he made the discovery when he showed up to work on Monday afternoon, according to the police report.
“The Santa Fe police department is aggressively pursuing those responsible for this disgusting display of hatred and intolerance,” police said in a news release on Tuesday.
The Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region shared a statement saying it is deeply disturbed by the acts. “We condemn the horrendous vandalism and vicious graffiti at India Palace restaurant and offer support and solidarity to the business owners.”
The Santa Fe Police Department said the FBI is assisting with the investigation.