Friday, 2 June 2023

LA Police Launch “Hate Crime” Investigation After LGBTQ Flag Burned at Southern California Elementary School


“Pride flag” by quinn.anya is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Authorities have launched an investigation after an LGBTQ flag was burned at Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, Southern California, just before a planned Pride event. The incident is being treated as a hate crime, NBC News reported.

Over the weekend preceding May 22, an individual broke into the school, according to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The perpetrator proceeded to burn the LGBTQ flag, leading to significant damage. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has classified the incident as a “vandalism hate crime.”

Alan Hamilton, a deputy chief with the LAPD’s Valley Bureau, revealed that the Pride flag had been placed in a potted plant.

“There was a small potted plant that was set on fire on the campus, and the plant had a small (4 x 6 inch) PRIDE flag inside the potted plant container. Both the plant and the flag were destroyed by the fire,” he said. 

No suspects are in custody, and the investigation remains ongoing, as confirmed by the Los Angeles School Police. In response to the incident, the school system has announced that additional patrols will be provided around the campus to ensure student safety.

In recent times, there is a perceived disparity in how the act of burning an American flag is treated as protected freedom of expression under the First Amendment, while burning a pride flag is categorized as a hate crime. This has led to concerns about the state of our country and the perceived double standards in the legal and societal treatment of these acts.

One user commented, “In what damn universe is burning a pride flag a hate crime? You can burn an American flag and that’s freedom of expression. But you burn the pride flag and it’s a hate crime? F that!”

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