Watch: Gay-Owned Tattoo Shop Owner Receives Threatening Note in Possible Hate Crime
The owner of a tattoo shop in Seattle says he received a hateful and threatening note, in what he says was an anti-gay hate crime, local news station KING5 reports.
Aaron Amundsen, the co-owner of Emerald City Tattoo and Supply, located in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood, said about a week after the election, his business partner found a note on Amundsen's windshield.
"I saw there was a note on my best friend's car," Tony Johns told KING5. "So I walked up and I pulled it out from under there and I read it. I came in, and I was quite upset. This is the start of something really ugly. It broke my heart, it truly broke my heart."
The note reads: "Hey Faggot - We won, so you better watch you're [sic] back. You're [sic] days are numberd [sic]. Make America STRAIGHT again to make it GREAT again. You will see, you cock sucker."
Amundsen, who is gay, said reading the note was like "someone punched me in the gut."
"I had never experience in my life and I've been out since high school," he added. "I've never experienced something so threatening...I've never had to hide for one minute who I was in this neighborhood."
After the incident gained attention on social media, Seattle Police launched a community discussion event about LGBT safety. The police's LGBT liaison, Officer Jim Ritter, calls the incident malicious harassment and a hate crime.
"It is clearly a threat based on a threat of the victim's sexually identity," Ritter told KING5. "It's pre-meditated and the victim was targeted."
The news station reports Seattle Police released data about hate crimes in the city last week, finding incidents against the LGBT community are the second highest category. Seattle Police Department Bias Crimes Coordinator, Detective Beth Wareing, told KING5 the numbers have increased since November and that authorities noticed some cases directly referenced the presidential election, just like the most recent incident.
"I believe it's my absolute right as a citizen, and as an upstanding person, to say wait a minute - this is not acceptable and don't let anyone tell you it is," Amundson said.
Watch KING5's report on the hateful note below.