LGBTQ Pride Month flags vandalized near Stonewall National Monument, police say

John Senter/UCG/Getty Images/File

The flag installation seen on the fence of Christopher Park in June 2023 is part of the Stonewall National Monument in New York City.



CNN

Flags were vandalized in New York City this week in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, according to city police.

The colorful flags at the Stonewall National Monument, located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood and dedicated to a turning point in the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement, were removed and damaged sometime Thursday evening, the New York City Police Department said in a statement to CNN. .

Authorities received a report early Friday, shortly before 8 a.m. ET, about missing flags in the park where the monument is located.

A preliminary investigation revealed that an unidentified person removed and destroyed 160 flags in the area around 8 p.m. Thursday, police said.

“The individual then fled the location to parts unknown,” the statement said.

No injuries were reported and authorities have made no arrests. The investigation is still ongoing, the police reported on Friday evening.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams commented on the vandalism in a post on X, formerly Twitter, writing: “Hate has no place in our city, and nothing will change that.”

Adams celebrated June’s LGBTQ Pride Month on Thursday at a gathering at his Gracie Mansion Conservancy home.

“We love and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community at Pride and throughout the year,” the mayor wrote on to take.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James called the vandalism “disgusting” in response to New York City Council member Erik Bottcher sharing images of the damaged and broken flags in an X-post.

Bottcher’s post showed a pile of LGBTQ flags on the ground near the Stonewall monument and Christopher Park.

“Anyone who thinks this will intimidate our community is sorely mistaken,” Bottcher wrote.

In 2016, President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall National Monument area, which includes Christopher Park’s historic Stonewall Inn, as the first U.S. national monument for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

The area was the site of the 1969 Stonewall uprising and protests that were often cited as a flashpoint for LGBTQ rights in the US.

A June 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, prompted patrons to fight back and eventually led to the first march for gay and lesbian rights.

Last June, the NYPD said its Hate Crime Task Force investigated at least three incidents during Pride Month in which Stonewall National Monument flags were damaged or removed, CNN previously reported.

CNN’s Meron Moges-Gerbi and Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.