SWAT Team Deployed to Arrest Man Who Spray-Painted Swastikas on LGBTQ Rainbow Crosswalk

A police SWAT team was deployed in Atlanta to arrest a Georgia man who was spotted spray-painting swastikas on an LGBTQ rainbow crosswalk.

According to Fox News, the Atlanta Police LGBTQ Liaison Unit was alerted about a “symbol that appeared to be a swastika spray-painted” at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.

The Atlanta Department of Transportation moved in quickly and immediately scrubbed the graffiti from the crosswalk.

However, another swastika was then spray-painted on the same LGBTQ rainbow crosswalk.

An unnamed man was caught on surveillance video and a dash camera spray-painting swastikas on the crosswalk in midtown Atlanta.

The Atlanta Police Department (APD) responded by launching a taxpayer-funded operation to catch the suspect.

“This is an unacceptable act in this city, anywhere in this city, or in any form where citizens are targeted by hate,” Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum previously said.

“This department is aggressively looking now for the individual who did this.”

The APD took to social media to ask for the public’s help to identify the suspect.

Investigators identified the suspect and officers descended on his apartment around 12 pm on Friday.

The suspect refused to respond to police officers.

“When the suspect wouldn’t come out, Atlanta police SWAT teams were requested to come to the scene and continued to try to make attempts to contact the suspect,” WSB-TV reported.

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“Roads in the area were blocked off as officers worked to get the man out safely.”

Around 5 pm, the suspect was arrested and taken into custody without incident, according to APD spokesperson TaSheena Brown.

Authorities did not reveal the identity of the suspect and it is unclear what charges he faces.

“When you have a swastika, when you have homophobic graffiti, of course, it’s a hate crime,” Schierbaum said.

“The motivation is to intimidate.

“The motivation is to spread hate, and this city doesn’t have any room for hate, and this police department doesn’t tolerate hate.”

A spokesman for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ office thanked the city’s employees “for erasing the hate that has no place in our city in such a swift and efficient manner.”

The LGBTQ rainbow crosswalk was painted for the 2015 Pride festival.

The city of Atlanta made the LGBTQ rainbow crosswalk permanent as a memorial to the 49 victims of the deadly 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.

The rainbow crosswalk represents “symbols of acceptance, unity, and tolerance representing the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies,” according to the organization that called for the creation of the painted street.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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