For the second time in one week, Midtown’s iconic rainbow crosswalks honoring the city’s LGBTQ+ community were spray painted with swastikas. Atlanta Police believe the same person is responsible for both crimes and are asking the public’s help to identify him.
On Friday, Aug. 19, police officers responded to a call at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue NE to a report of a male suspect painting a swastika on the rainbow crosswalks. Surveillance video also captured images of the suspect.
Two days earlier, on Aug. 17, police responded to a report of a male suspect spray painting a swastika on the crosswalk before walking away.
Investigators believe the same suspect is responsible for these two incidents. There were also similar incidents in the area and investigators are working to determine if the same suspect was involved, according to an APD news release.
Interim Police Chief Darin Schierbaum called the incidents “acts of hate” and said the crimes were hate crimes, according to a report by the AJC. The AJC also reported anti-gay slurs were painted on the crosswalk in Friday’s incident.
“We do not tolerate hate,” Schierbaum said in the AJC story. “We are going to find him and hold him accountable.”
The city installed the rainbow crosswalks at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in 2017 to honor the city’s LGBTQ+ community. Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, the city’s first LGBTQ+ bookstore, stood at the intersection for more than 20 years before closing in 2012.
Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect in this case should contact 911 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta. Information on the case can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.StopCrimeATL.com. Callers do not have to give their name or any identifying information to be eligible for the reward of up to $2,000 for the arrest and indictment of the suspect.