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Police Bring Vermont Couple New Pride Flag After a Targeted Hate Crime

Police Bring Vermont Couple New Pride Flag After a Targeted Hate Crime

Police Bring Vermont Couple New Pride Flag After a Targeted Hate Crime

A small gesture can go a long way.

rachelkiley

With all the stories of LGBTQ people having their rainbow flags burned, or stolen, or even just someone demanding they take them down, it’s nice to hear one such story that ends on a positive note.

Christopher Vaccaro and Jimmie Searle’s pride flag was burned to ashes while hanging from their Burlington, Vermont home at the start of the month.

The police are still investigating the incident, which occurred while the couple was out of town and fortunately didn’t do as much damage as it easily could have.

“It’s a lot more than just burning a flag down,” Searle said. “They could have killed people. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s just fighting that someone thought that that was okay; that it was an acceptable risk due to their hatred.”

And while police departments across the country have a questionable and often volatile history with their LGBTQ citizens, this department recognized this act for the hate crime it was, and wanted to show Vaccaro and Searle their support.

Days after the fire, Deputy Police Chief Jon Murad showed up at their door with a replacement flag and a note from Police Chief Brandon del Pozo.

The Burlington Free Press reports that the note talked “about Stonewall, the 1969 riots against police violence in Manhattan, and the historical oppression of the LGBTQ+ community by police.”

“Hate crime is a terrible way to begin Pride Month,” said Murad. “But we have come a long way as well, and I think that our police response is indicative of that.”

The community is still hopeful that the person who set the fire will be found, and prevented from committing any further acts of hate.

“Love wins,” Vacarro said. “Love wins, every time. The LGBT community is about love, not hate. We’re not going to return hate with hate, and you’re not going to douse our love.”

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.