British Columbia

Rainbow crosswalk defaced in Dawson Creek, B.C., hours after being repainted

RCMP said a Chevrolet pickup truck was spotted doing burnouts and leaving tire marks on a rainbow crosswalk in Dawkson Creek, B.C.

'Seeing this kind of homophobia is disheartening,' says local pride society

A pickup truck was spotted Tuesday doing burnouts and leaving tire marks on a rainbow crosswalk in Dawson Creek, B.C. (Dawson Creek RCMP)

Some residents and businesses in Dawson Creek, B.C., are flying rainbow flags in support of the LGBT community after the city's rainbow crosswalk was vandalized.

The northern B.C. city has had a rainbow crosswalk in front of Dawson Creek Secondary School since 2017.

RCMP said a bronze Chevrolet pickup truck was spotted Tuesday at about 5:30 p.m. PT doing burnouts and leaving tire marks on the crosswalk.

Shortly after, a person came out of a second pickup truck and dumped oil on the crosswalk, said the Dawson Creek Pride Society.

Police are now investigating.

The pride society said the vandalism was a blatant act of homophobic violence and hatred. 

"Frankly, we are exhausted," the society said in a statement. "We are a small group of queer people living in a small town and seeing this kind of homophobia is disheartening."

Mayor posts photo of support

The crosswalk has been repeatedly vandalized and repainted, said Hannah Embree, the pride society's president. The city was in the middle of repainting the crosswalk for Pride month and was able to quickly cover up the damage, she said.

Other rainbow crosswalks in B.C. have been vandalized in recent years, include those in Fort Langley, White Rock and New Westminster.

Embree said she's seen a groundswell of support from the community this week. Businesses and residents have reached out asking for Pride stickers and flags to display, and have asked how they can help, she said.

The city's mayor, Dale Bumstead, posted a photo of himself standing at the crosswalk in an act of support.

The crosswalk "signifies to me the acceptance of a diverse, inclusive and tolerant community," he wrote.

The pride society plans to host a physically distanced photo shoot at the crosswalk and is inviting the public to join. A date has not yet been set.

Anyone with information or who recognizes the pickup truck is asked to contact Dawson RCMP. 

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