Aggressively flailing away with a sharp-edged pole, a vandal was caught on camera trying to destroy the Pride flag hanging in front of the Ladner United Church.
The material cost of the rainbow flag is minimal, however, the attack on the symbol of the LGTBQ2 community was significant enough to warrant a police response.
“(The suspect appears to be) a 50- to 60-year-old man. He was dressed all in black and was wearing a blue face covering to hide his identity,” said Staff Sgt. James Sandberg, a police officer from nearby Delta, B.C.
He said the suspect first tried to disable the security camera but ended up simply covering his face with a blue bandana.
The video recorded the crime around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to Delta police, other Pride symbols around the city have been targeted as well.
“Just last month, we had a flagpole at our city hall flying a Pride flag. It was cut down,” Sandberg said.
“The mischief and vandalism needs to stop.”
The Ladner United Church is no stranger to hateful acts of vandalism. In 2019, a similar incident was reported to police.
On Wednesday the church issued a statement saying it isn’t a surprise the flag was targeted again.
“We shouldn’t live in a community where Pride flags being vandalized is the norm,” Ladner United Church staff said.
“We should be able to hang Pride flags and support our LGTBQ2S community without wondering if there will be an attack and a message sent that it’s not safe to be who you are or love who you love.”
The local Pride society said it’s another sign of discrimination against the community.
“This is just another example of how much work needs to be done,” said Jeremy Colwell, Delta Pride Society spokesperson.
“All we can do is carry on with the same message of inclusion, openness and support. All we can do as a community is stand up and say, ‘This isn’t right.’”
Anyone with information regarding the suspect or vandalism at the Ladner church is asked to contact Delta police.