Police investigating after pride flag burned at Tempe City Hall
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The City of Tempe has replaced a pride flag that was recently taken down from a flagpole outside of city hall and burned. Now police are investigating the vandalism.
“This act of aggression does not represent our community. Hate has no place in Tempe,” said City Manager Andrew Ching. “We are committed to championing diversity, inclusion and equity and ensuring that our community is safe and welcoming for everyone.”
In celebration of Pride Month, the City of Tempe flies a pride flag with the City of Tempe logo at all city facilities. This flag is flown along with the American, State of Arizona, and Juneteenth flags. However, some city officials believe the vandalism was intentional. “They broke the lock only. They only took pride flag down, very personal, and they burned it and the other flags were left,” said Tempe Vice Mayor Jennifer Adams.
Others echo the vice mayor’s concerns. “The fact that people can’t take 30 days out of the year to celebrate the differences between us is disheartening,” said Brennon Wilcox. “I think people are showing their pros and cons for the movement,” added Kelly Yeatman.
Adams, the first lesbian elected to the Tempe City Council, says this is one piece of a bigger puzzle. “It was disturbing. There is definitely an attack in this country right now and the LGBTQ community, and it demonstrates that’s happening even in Tempe, the most inclusive city in the state of Arizona,” she explained.
On Tuesday, the City of Tempe announced the flagpole was repaired, and the flag was replaced. “The flags set a reminder it doesn’t hurt anyone to have these flags out,” said Brianna Bessler.
Tempe police have not yet commented on the investigation. The City of Tempe released the following statement:
Tempe police are wanting to speak with anyone who may know something. They’re asking you to call 480-350-8311.
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