BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — Police in Brooklyn Park said they are investigating why someone spray-painted graffiti on a man’s car and stole thousands of dollars in camera equipment.

“Minnesota has been through a lot in the last two years and you’d think we’d wake up,” Matt said.

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Matt said he was dining at a local restaurant Thursday night when sometime between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., someone vandalized his car and smashed a window, stealing an estimated $7,000 of his camera equipment he uses for work as a freelancer.

“Then I read the message on it and I was just lost for words,” he said.

Someone wrote the words “China Virus” on the side of his white sedan. Matt said he is Korean, and is now forced to have a difficult conversation with his 7-year-old son.

(credit: CBS)

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“First thing I thought of was my son. He’s gonna see this. How do I explain this to him?” Matt said. “Just this morning he asked, he’s like ‘Dad, we’re not Chinese.’”

Due to a backlog at auto shops, Matt said he can’t bring it in to get fixed until February, so he covers it with a blue tarp when he drives his son to school.

The Brooklyn Park Police Department said they assigned an investigator to the case. Matt said they are looking for surveillance video.

“There’s no room in this world any more for hate,” said Derick Granberry, Matt’s friend. “We have to stand together and unify.”

Granberry started an online fundraiser for his friend to make up for the losses. The pair met two years ago in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd when they started a nonprofit and distributed food to the community.

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“This is not what we stand for,” Granberry said. “We stand for, you know, standing together, you know, no matter what your color or race is. You know, it’s the right thing to do.”

Kirsten Mitchell