Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the person responsible for damaging a Pride flag outside the entrance to a Lower Mainland church.
Delta police say that at around 3:25 a.m. Tuesday morning (July 5), an unknown suspect hid their face, approached the front entrance of Ladner United Church and attempted to cover up the surveillance camera.
Once the suspect believed the camera was concealed, they left and then returned with a pole that police believe had some sort of sharp edge at the tip and began striking the flag multiple times, tearing it in several spots.
“The material cost of a flag is minimal, but the damage to the fabric of our community, again, is significant when someone intentionally damages a symbol of love, inclusivity and pride. There is no room for hate or intolerance in our communities, and we are asking for the assistance of the public to solve this senseless crime,” Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord said in a press release.
On Wednesday afternoon, the DPD released security camera footage of the suspect in the hope that the public may be able to help identify the person responsible.
In the video, the suspect appears to be a Caucasian male 50-60 years old wearing all black clothing and a blue neck/face covering.
Police say several City of Delta Pride street banners attached to light standards on Ladner Trunk Road have been similarly damaged.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Delta Police Department at 604-946-4411 and reference file 22-14382, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Ladner United Church has flown some version of the Pride flag outside the entrance since 2014. It was also the target of vandalism in June of 2019, when the flag was defaced with black spray paint twice in 12 days.
Police are also investigating an incident that occurred two weeks ago, when on June 22 someone cut down the Progress Pride flag pole outside Delta city hall. The flag was raised at city hall during a ceremony on June 1 to mark the beginning of Pride Month.
The damaged pole was repaired and the flag re-raised later that day, and Delta Fire were on hand the morning of June 23 to hoist an even bigger Progress Pride flag from one of the department’s ladder trucks.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the city has flown a Pride flag in support of the LGBTQ2S+ community and Pride Month, and the first time the city has flown the Progress Pride flag — a variation of the rainbow Pride flag designed by artist Daniel Quasar in 2018 that incorporates coloured chevrons representing other groups such as people of colour, the transgender community, and those living with and lost to HIV/AIDS.