Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Lesbians Targeted in Hate Crime Vandalism; 5 Teenagers ID’ed As Perps

Lesbian family SUV defaced by anti-gay slurs in hate crimes vandalism spree in Arlington, Texas.

Arlington, Texas- At least 13 persons and businesses were vandalized on June 10 in what police are calling hate crimes.  Acting Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson, five suspects ranging in age from 16 to 18 years of age have been identified in the hateful spray painting spree that singled out at least one lesbian family with homophobic slurs.  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the eldest suspect, Daniel Damian Sibley, 18, of Arlington, was arrested on Tuesday and is being held on a $2,500 bond in the Arlington City Jail.  Sibley, a fresh-faced youth, posted that he is a Texas Christian University (TCU) physical therapy major. Attorneys for the other four suspects have told police that they will be turning their clients over to authorities immediately.  The suspects are being charged with graffiti defacement, valued at between $1,500 and $20,000, crimes that are considered felonies in Texas.  The hate crimes enhancement, should it be added to the charges, will increase the penalties of suspects who are found guilty.

Acting Chief Johnson told reporters from CBS 11 News that the nature of the slurs used to deface homes, vehicles, and at least one business prompted investigators to treat the cases as hate crimes from the beginning. Vulgarities concerning racial groups were also employed by the perpetrators. What broke open the case was a surveillance video showing clearly the five suspects spray painting their hate speech on a business early on the morning of June 10. “We are committed in Arlington to prevent all crime especially crime that was committed for no other reason than possibly toward hatred,” Chief Johnson told CBS 11. “We want to send a strong message to the community that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

A gay family constituted by a lesbian couple and their child were targeted by the words “Faggot Queers” painted on the rear of their late model Subaru SUV. Police speculate that a decal on the rear window depicting two women holding each other’s hands, as well as the hand of a child, and a dog, probably prompted the vandalism.

Gay advocacy groups were swift to praise the Arlington Police Department for the professionalism and timeliness of the arrests. Thomas Anable of Fairness Fort Worth, a local LGBT rights group formed in the wake of the 2009 police raid on the Rainbow Lounge, a major gay bar in the city, commended the action of the police as “textbook perfect.”  Chad Griffin, the new President of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, cheered the Arlington Police  for “responding swiftly and thoroughly.” 

June 21, 2012 Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Fairness Fort Worth, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Human Rights Campaign, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, Texas, vandalism | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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