Toronto police are searching for two vandals who painted swastikas and slurs on a rainbow crosswalk in Toronto’s Gay Village late last week, according to a Twitter post from the police department.
“Swastikas were painted on there along with gender-based slurs,” Ernie Klassen of Toronto’s White Rock Pride Committee told the Vancouver Sun. “When we were told about the swastikas, that’s where we said this goes from being simple vandalism to being a hate crime.”
Yesterday, 2 ppl deliberately trying to conceal their identity committed a despicable Hate Crime in the @ChurchWellesley Village. If you saw this swastika being painted in the Church and Alexander St. intersection, please contact @TorontoPolice Sgt Dyck @TPS51Div 416-808-5184. pic.twitter.com/bu1sy4mArV
— TPS LGBTQ-ISN (@TDotGayCops) August 3, 2018
The crosswalk was defaced just 10 days after its installation at Church and Alexander Streets on July 23. But the community refused to allow hate to win out, and members of the Church-Wellesley Neighbourhood Association removed the graffiti while city workers blocked traffic.
“Last night it happened that we were aware and able to remove the offensive graffiti quickly,” the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association announced in a statement on Friday. “The goal was to give the offender no satisfaction from the deed and to show a united front against hate in our community.”
On Friday, police put a call for help identifying the vandals who purposefully concealed their identity.