Windsor

Window smashed at We Trans Support, as organization sees 3rd act of vandalism in one week

In just one week, WE Trans Support has filed three police reports in regards to hate vandalism and now property damage after an office window was broken. 

Windsor police are investigating, say WE Trans Support

Executive director of WE Trans Support, Alexander Reid, says he arrived to the office on Monday morning to find the window had been broken. He says it seems as though a brake router was thrown through the window. (Submitted by Alexander Reid )

In just one week, WE Trans Support has filed three police reports in regards to hate vandalism and now property damage after an office window was broken.

The organization's executive director Alexander Reid told CBC News Monday that he arrived at the office around 11 a.m. to find one of the windows smashed by what appeared to be a brake router, along with offensive language and a swastika written on the windows. 

Reid said no one was in the office at the time of the event. 

"This is not just an attack on WE Trans Support and our physical space, it's an attack on the queer and trans community and that's scary," Reid said. 

This is the third time since last Monday that the office has been targeted.

On Feb. 15, Reid arrived to the office to find homophobic slurs and the swastika drawn on the windows in black marker. Then on Saturday, Reid said a volunteer arrived to the office to find more hateful vandalism on the windows, including racist slurs and anti-police propaganda. 

Reid cleaning off the windows last Monday after the first incident of hateful vandalism. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

The incidents have prompted the organization to set up outdoor security cameras and install shatterproof glass. 

"It's definitely frightening, I would say that we were very concerned by the rapid escalation from writing homophobic slurs to now destruction of property. We see this as an act of violence, it's an act of hate against the queer and trans community and honestly we're concerned as to how it's going to escalate from here," he said. 

The office space, located in Windsor's South Walkerville neighbourhood, only has indoor security cameras at this time, Reid said. He added that their security company has now donated additional cameras for the outside of the building. 

The facility is currently undergoing renovations, but damages from the broken window are estimated to cost an additional $5,500 to $7,000, Reid said. 

The group says it has started a gofundme to help it cover the cost. 

Windsor police are investigating the series of incidents.

Reid said that without video footage from surrounding businesses, it makes it difficult for police to actually pinpoint a suspect. 

This is the third incident in one week. Reid says all three incidents have been reported to Windsor police who are actively investigating. (Submitted by Alexander Reid)

But whoever the person or group is, Reid said that it's clear they have "a lot of hate" toward the LGBTQ community and that his group will do more to combat these sorts of attitudes. 

"This is not an uncommon reaction to the queer and trans community across the globe, we know that hate crimes and hate speech are rampant," he said.

"We're trying to create a more tolerant and educated society and what this really looks like for us is kind of a wake-up call that our services in Windsor are definitely needed ... they're still minds that need to be changed." 

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