LGBTQ+ pride flags vandalized at Stonewall National Monument 3 times during Pride month

FILE - Pride flags, a symbol celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, decorate the fence at the Stonewall National Monument with U.S. Park police present, Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in New York. Dozens of LGBTQ+ Pride flags were damaged and ripped down at the monument over the weekend, the third such bout of vandalism during Pride Month at the LGBTQ+ landmark, police said. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File) (Bebeto Matthews, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – Dozens of LGBTQ+ pride flags were damaged and ripped down at the Stonewall National Monument over the weekend, the third such bout of vandalism at the LGBTQ+ landmark during this Pride month, police said.

The latest occurrence happened Sunday, after others on June 9 and last Thursday. No arrests have been made in any of the incidents, and it's unclear whether they were connected. The New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

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On Sunday, officers were called around 8 a.m. and found about 33 pride flags broken and tossed to the ground, police said.

Park volunteer Steven Menendez told New York's Fox 5 News that, in all, 68 flags — nearly a quarter of those displayed — were damaged in some way.

“We have so much hatred and anger in the air right now,” Menendez told the station. “We really need to reverse that and replace it with love compassion and acceptance.”

The Stonewall National Monument, the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ+ history, was dedicated in 2016. It encompasses a park across the street from the Stonewall Inn, a bar where patrons fought back against a police raid on June 28, 1969, and helped spark the contemporary LGBTQ+ rights movement.

The Stonewall rebellion is commemorated every year with pride marches in cities across the U.S. and the world.

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