Soon after the City of New Westminster proudly painted a rainbow crosswalk at a downtown intersection, someone showed why such symbols of support for the LGBTQ communities are needed more than ever.
The New Westminster Police Department posted the following statement a day after the crosswalk's unveiling:
The New Westminster Police Department is investigating an act of mischief to the newly installed Pride crosswalk, located at Church Street and Columbia Street. A 91 year old male was observed pouring white paint over the crosswalk. Witnesses contacted the NWPD and the male was located a short distance away. The 91 year old New Westminster resident is being investigated for mischief and was also taken to hospital for evaluation. The incident is still under investigation at this time.
New West councillor Patrick Johnstone posted pictures of the vandalism and clean-up on Twitter.
Unveiled on Monday (July 27) ahead of this year's New West Pride Festival, the crosswalk is located at Church Street and Columbia Street in the downtown business district.
"I think it’s really sad, but it highlights that there’s a reason we need to still be fighting for gay and lesbian rights," Mayor Jonathan Cote told the New Westminster Record. "There still is, unfortunately, some hatred out there and we still need to confront that issue. Having said that, I don’t believe this represents New Westminster. I spent all day receiving so many positive comments by email and on social media, and overwhelmingly heard great support from the community."