Boise PD Investigating Stolen And Damaged Pride Flags In Boise’s North End
The Boise Police Department is investigating the missing and damaged Pride flags in the North End.
According to the department, they are considering malicious harassment charges. This isn't about one missing or damaged flag or any accident. There have been at least 35 Pride flags damaged or taken over the past week in the North End, alone.
On Wednesday, there were reportedly 21 flags missing and one that was damaged. By Thursday, that number had climbed to 35, which would represent about two-thirds of the flags put up by the North End Neighborhood Association.
According to the Vice President of Boise's Pride Festival's board of directions, Joseph Kibbe, "It's very sad for the community. It makes Boise feel a little less safe and a little less welcoming."
Unfortunately, this matter is not unfamiliar to Boise PD. Just last year, a similar incident happened where police responded to damaged and stolen Pride flags in the North End. An 18-year old suspect was arrested in those string of crimes.
This year, aware of what happened last year, the organization tried to make the flags more difficult to remove by using metal, rather than wooden, poles and upgrading the material the flags were made of to make them more difficult to damage. However, Kibbe says, "It still did not seem to be a deterrence."
According to BPD, they started investigating immediately upon receiving the reports. They had officers stop at every home on Harrison Boulevard between W. Ada St and W. Bella St to ask residents for access to their camera footage, if possible.
Boise Police Deputy Chief Tammany Brooks said in a press release, "Our officers will not tolerate any crime that targets or makes someone feel target because of who they are or who they choose to love."
Boise PD is asking anyone with information to please contact the police.
Those interested in helping replace the stolen and damaged flags can donate to the Boise Pride Festival. Kibbe is also encouraging people to put the rainbow Pride flags outside their own homes in a show of support and solidarity.