Police call Salmon Arm rainbow crosswalk vandalism a hate crime

City of Salmon Arm crew repairs crossing for second time after burnouts and graffiti

What was meant to be a symbol of inclusion has become the target of a hate crime.

Early Monday morning, July 30, City of Salmon Arm workers were back at the intersection of 5th Street SW and 5th Avenue SW, by the fairgrounds, cleaning and repainting the colourful crosswalk for a second time in less than a week. Sometime overnight, the words “Make S.A. Straight Again” were painted in black capital letters over the length of the rainbow crossing.

Salmon Arm RCMP Sgt. Scott Lachapelle said the incident is now being investigated by police, and is being considered a hate crime.

“Vandalism is mischief, but because of the specific content of the message, where it is located on the rainbow crosswalk, one of the flags that we can raise during the investigation is that we believe it to be a hate crime…,” explained Lachapelle. “It’s a vandalism, but it’s hate motivated in that it discriminated specifically against one group. That’s how it’s going to be viewed.”

Lachapelle is hopeful someone will come forward with information that will assist in the investigation, either by contacting the detachment directly at 250-832-6044 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Related: Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk vandalized after one week

Related: Salmon Arm council approves rainbow crosswalk

City staff were required to clean and repair the crosswalk once last week after a single tire burnout mark was left on the rainbow crosswalk, and again Monday morning after multiple burnout marks were made at the crosswalk Friday night and Sunday night’s graffiti. The rainbow crosswalk was painted by the city on July 18.

City of Salmon Arm engineer Jennifer Wilson estimates repairs to both Friday night’s burnouts and Sunday night’s tagging to be $500.

Mayor Nancy Cooper is dismayed by the ongoing vandalism and hateful graffiti, which she noted someone took their time in writing, but adds the city will continue to maintain the rainbow crosswalk.

“I can tell you that we’re going to continue to repaint it – it will stay and we’ll continue to repaint it,” said Cooper. “I’ve been very surprised this continues, but apparently it does in other communities as well.”

Lachapelle said police will be monitoring the situation to see if it becomes an ongoing problem in Salmon Arm.

“Further steps may have to be taken by we, the police, in connection with the city, to look at monitoring that area…,” said Lachapelle. “We believe it took place sometime late last night, and given that area, it’s not uncommon for there to be nobody around. So it’s an area where we may have to try some alternative means of discouraging that kind of behaviour.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

More tire burnout marks were left on the rainbow crosswalk over the weekend. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Vernon business restores faith in humanity for houseboat fire victims

Community kindness leaves out-of-province father in tears of appreciation

Sicamous Eagles’ Jaxon Danilec moving on to Alberta Junior A team

Following a divisional MVP performance, the Olds Grizzlys came calling

Daughter follows closely in mother’s Salmon Arm career footsteps

Human service work program holds potential for variety of job options

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

“If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven” - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Vernon social justice group rallies to raise awareness for human trafficking victims

Indigenous women make up 4 per cent of Canadian population, 50 per cent of trafficking victims

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Most Read