Police: Pride flags outside Stonewall vandalized for second year in a row

CeFaan Kim Image
Saturday, June 15, 2024
Police: Pride flags outside Stonewall vandalized for second year in a row
CeFaan Kim has the latest from Greenwich Village.

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Every June, the Stonewall National Monument becomes the source of pride, but lately, it has also become the target of hate.

Police say at the birthplace of the LGBTQ movement in Greenwich Village, vandalism struck again.

Pride flags along the perimeter of the park were ripped down on Thursday night - someone snapped the sticks and stole three-quarters of the flags.

"I feel like we should be past this in 2024," said Tara Goutermout.

A video posted by council member Erik Bottcher says someone also burned pride decorations at 22nd Street in Chelsea.

Bottcher tweeted, 'anyone who thinks this will intimidate our community is badly mistaken.'

Less than a day after the attempt to strike fear, every pride flag was back up and firmly mounted.

Across the street, the Kaleidoscope Ministries was trying to spread joy where this is ugly. It is a faith-based non-profit looking to create safer spaces for queer people where they have not been traditionally welcome - but they never expected to do it in a space that's supposed to be safe.

"There's not really a reason to do that and it's not harming anyone," said Sharai Dottin.

"Feels really aggressive and I mean it's sad because the flags are there - a site that's there only because of violence," added Dani D'Olivieria.

The Stonewall National Monument of course is no stranger to hate. Last year during Pride Month it was the target of vandalism three times.

On June 10 last year, police say cameras caught three people breaking Pride flags. Less than a week, it happened again. This time, 10 flags were destroyed.

"I wish people would just educate themselves on Stonewall and the amazing things that happened here. So many years ago, people were fighting against this idea of hostility and oppression. It was a really really powerful moment and for people to just take that away from people is just very very disappointing and sad," said Ray Low.

Police have not made any arrests in Thursday night's hate crime.

READ MORE: New video of suspects linked to vandalism in NYC

Phil Taitt has the latest on a the string of acts of vandalism linked to the war in the Middle East.


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