Police say Pride Center vandalism a possible hate crime

April 27, 2022 GMT

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Burlington Police say they are investigating a broken window at the office of an organization dedicated to the health and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Vermonters as a possible hate crime.

Police say surveillance video showed an individual approach the office of the Pride Center of Vermont just after midnight Tuesday and throw two objects.

Officials at the Pride Center discovered a broken window in the center’s door when they arrived Tuesday morning.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said he was troubled to learn about the vandalism.

“Our city is using its full resources to investigate who committed this crime and why,” Weinberger said in a statement. “Acts of hate have no place in Burlington.”

Burlington acting Police Chief Jon Murad says officers are investigating the vandalism “with an eye toward the very real possibility that it was motivated by malice related to the Pride Center.”

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Police say that when a crime in Vermont is determined to have been maliciously motivated it may be enhanced as a hate crime, the perpetrator can be given additional penalties at sentencing.

The Pride Center describes itself as a center dedicated to advancing the health and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Vermonters.