More than 100-year-old statue of Washington state’s second governor defaced

SEATTLE — Protesters in Seattle defaced a statue of Washington’s second governor John Harte McGraw that was more than a century old.

The statue was covered in bright paint.

McGraw was also one of four officers in the Seattle Police Department and later, a King County sheriff.

“How dare they do this,” one person told KIRO 7′s Deedee Sun.

“It’s just appalling! It’s appalling,” said Theresa Hill.

Vandals also spray-painted the park where the statue is located with words like “racist” and “no human is illegal.”

A sign prominently taped on the statue read “Colonizer.”

The damage struck a cord.

“This is a part of history,” Hill said. “When I saw that, I felt like puking, honestly.”

Another person told KIRO 7 that, “Everyone has their faults. But to destroy this? And throw red paint on it?” One person said, “It is unacceptable.”

Beyond being a part of Seattle and Washington history, people pointed out there’s another important piece of John McGraw’s story that involves defending the rights of minorities.

The city of Seattle’s Art Beat Page said in 1866, anti-Chinese vigilantes were trying to round up Chinese American laborers in Seattle and force them onto a ship back to China. However, McGraw “Deputized 400 Seattle citizens to protect the Chinese.”

People looking at the damage to the statue said on Monday, it shows those behind the vandalism may have misfired.

“They might think they’re anarchists or activists, but a lot of them are very confused, and they don’t know there’s a lot of misconceptions,” another woman said.

Some are hoping the damage can be cleaned up.

“We’ve gotta move forward,” Hill said.