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WATCH: Do You Know San Francisco's Anti-LGBT Vandal?

WATCH: Do You Know San Francisco's Anti-LGBT Vandal?


The San Francisco Police Department released surveillance footage of a vandal setting fire to an LGBT Chicano mural in the city's Mission district, in hopes that the public can identify the suspect.


After weeks spent reviewing surveillance footage, the San Francisco Police Department has been unable to identify a man who set fire to a mural in the Mission District of San Francisco that depicts a trans man, lesbian couple and and a gay Chicano couple.

Now police are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect, reports Bay City News. Around 11:30 p.m. on June 29, a man dressed in all-black with a cover over his face used some sort of incendiary device and an accelerant to torch the mural, an SFPD spokesman previously told The Advocate.

The surveillance footage released this weekend shows a man approaching the mural outside Galeria de la Raza at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets in the city's Mission District, throwing a flammable liquid onto the mural, and setting it aflame with a lighter. The video shows the suspect fumbling the first time he tries to set the wall on fire, dropping the lighter before picking it up and setting the mural ablaze. The man then runs out of view from the camera.

A spokesperson with SFPD previously described the suspect to The Advocate as an "unknown male, possibly white or Hispanic, about 5 foot 9 and 150 pounds, wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, white tennis shoes, white gloves and a black cloth covering the lower half of his face." He was last seen running southbound on Bryant Street.

The latest attack -- which occurred just one day after San Francisco hosted a celebratory, raucous Pride celebration in the wake of nationwide marriage equality -- marks the third time the mural was vandalized. Police are considering the repeated vandalism an anti-LGBT hate crime, the SFPD spokesperson confirmed to The Advocate.

The mural was created by Maricon Collective, a gay Chicano DJ and art collective, and was commissioned for Pride month by Galeria de la Raza, an arts nonprofit founded in the 1970s to create awareness and appreciation of Chicano and Latino art. Initially put up on June 13, the mural as first vandalized on June 16, then again on June 21, after gallery staff and volunteers re-posted the illustration using wheatpaste. In the first two attacks, vandals used spraypaint to cross out the faces of the gay, lesbian, and transgender characters depicted. But in the third incident, only the male couple's image was defaced -- lit on fire by the vandal.

Anyone with information relating to the crime is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department at (415) 553-1133, use the anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or contact SFPD's lead investigator Pete Shields at (415) 553-1133. Alternately, residents can text information to TIP411 -- include "SFPD" at the start of the message.

Watch the video below of the vandal setting fire to the mural:

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Yezmin Villarreal

Yezmin Villarreal is the former news editor for The Advocate. Her work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mic, LA Weekly, Out Magazine and The Fader.
Yezmin Villarreal is the former news editor for The Advocate. Her work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mic, LA Weekly, Out Magazine and The Fader.