Police investigating rainbow crosswalk vandalism as possible hate crime
June 06, 2019 05:37 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department is launching a criminal investigation after a video surfaced showing a group of motorcyclists deliberately burning out their tires on a new rainbow crosswalk meant to show support for the LGBTIQ community.
The city just installed four rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Morningside and Central at a cost of $30,000. Now, two of the crosswalks are covered in burnt tire rubber.
"No one knows but the perpetrators themselves, what their motivation was, but it's hard when you look at exactly what happened it's hard not to think that it was a personal attack on our community" said Craig LaBerge-Esparza, president of Albuquerque Pride.
In the video, one of the motorcyclists blows his tire as he does a burnout on the crosswalk.
LaBerge-Esparza said he plans to use the vandalism as motivation to keep advocating for the LGBTIQ community. PrideFest kicks off on Saturday morning with a parade on Central.
"Saturday morning we will have me, you, and 30,000 of our closest friends and family will be walking across this rainbow crosswalk and really showing what our community has to offer," he said.
Albuquerque police have launched a criminal investigation and will determine if it was a hate crime.
“I definitely think that there some aspects that they definitely are specifically hitting a symbol of the community and I think that it's very disappointing they chose to carry out these activities," said APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina.
He said the charges the motorcyclists will face depends on the amount of damage that was done to the crosswalks.
Police are asking anyone who recognizes any of the motorcyclists involved to call Crime Stoppers at (505) 843-STOP.
Updated: June 06, 2019 05:37 PM
Created: June 06, 2019 03:55 PM
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