Juvenile “coward” shoots gun at library window containing Pride flag

LGBTQ Entertainment News


The vandalized library window Photo: Newberg Public Library

Police in Newberg, Oregon have arrested a minor for allegedly shooting a local library’s window that was displaying a Progress Pride flag. Police aren’t publicly identifying the suspect because of their age, but detectives believe the vandalism may have been motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias. The mayor called the attack an “abhorrent” assault on free speech.

Last Wednesday, the Newberg Public Library posted an image of the shattered window on Facebook. The post said that around 7:10 p.m., someone fired a BB at the library’s southeast window, shattering the protective glass that was installed in January. No one was injured.

“After a thorough investigation, detectives were able to identify the suspect [as] a juvenile … [who] acted alone. The person cooperated with detectives and was arrested,” the Newberg-Dundee police department reported in a public Facebook post published last Friday. “There were concerns the suspect possibly had a biased intent because a Pride flag was displayed directly behind the vandalized window.”

In a June 6 statement, Newberg Mayor Bill Rosacker wrote, “Whether or not the coward who performed this act had an ulterior motive misses the point. The act was an attack on the citizens of Newberg and will not be allowed to pass without consequences.”

“In Newberg, all people are treated equally,” Rosacker’s statement continued. “We will not tolerate acts against any legal display of any sort. The simple fact that this attack was perpetrated against our library, which only exists because of and to protect our First Amendment right to express our opinions without the fear of retribution, is abhorrent. Please join us in condemning this evil act, and let’s move Forward Together.”

On June 7, the city of Bend, Oregon, said it would make a rainbow-colored Pride crosswalk permanent and more durable after someone defaced it barely 12 hours after its installation. The crosswalk was painted ahead of the city’s Pride Fest event.

“I’d like to say I was surprised by it, but I wasn’t, unfortunately. And it’s really disappointing,” Bend Mayor Pro-Tem Megan Perkins said in a statement. “But what I’m trying to focus on are all of the really positive comments that we’ve received from the community, particularly parents of gay kids who said that this crosswalk makes them feel seen and safer.”

In 2021, the Newberg School Board voted to ban any “political” speech from their schools, including Pride flags, Black Lives Matter signs, and any other “divisive” messages that, the board claimed, make white and straight students feel excluded. In response, a local couple built a large outdoor Progress Pride flag on a wooden wall, visible from the high school.

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