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Man Arrested For Rainbow Vandalism


Memphis police arrested a man early Wednesday morning after he attempted to burn the gay pride flag at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center.

Plainclothes officers observed Ross Burton and another man attempting to set fire to the rope that runs up the flagpole in front of the Tennessee center. When police officers approached the men, an altercation ensued. Additional police were dispatched and some reportedly received lacerations and abrasions from the struggle.

While both suspects fled the scene, Burton was located and arrested. Now he is being charged with aggravated assault and vandalism. The second, unidentified suspect is currently at large.

"Public incidents such as this shed light on the larger issue of intolerance and hatred that our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens face every day," said MGLCC director Will Batts, reports the Memphis Flyer. "Once again, attempts to silence or frighten our community will not succeed, but will make us more determined to fight for equality. We appreciate the support of the community in this struggle."

This incident marks the second act of vandalism against the center in two months. In September, an MGLCC National Coming Out Day billboard was destroyed. There is no word on whether the two crimes were related.

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